Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Tour and Review: Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Here is a summary of Prayers for Sale from Sandra Dallas' website:

Sandra’s eighth novel, is an unforgettable tale of a friendship between two women, one with surprising twists and turns, and one that is ultimately a revelation of the finest parts of the human spirit. In 1936, Hennie Comfort, eighty-six, meets Nit Spindle, seventeen, just as the old woman learns she must leave the Colorado mountains that have been her home for seventy years. Nit has lost her baby, and Hennie takes the girl under her wing, telling her stories about mountain life, stories that are as much about Hennie as they are about the historic people of the high country. The harsh conditions of life that Hennie and Nit have suffered create an instant bond, and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the deepest of hardships are endured and the darkest memories are confessed.

My Review:

Have you ever been lucky enough to be able to sit down with a few of the elderly folks in your family, and just sit back and let them reminisce about the good old days? I certainly have, and I have treasured every moment of it. That is what this book was like for me, sitting down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee, a piece of freshly baked raspberry pie, just listening to Hennie tell her stories from her years of mountain life.

Hennie is about eighty six years old and lives in an old mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Hennie's husband died years before and her daughter is concerned that living alone is just too dangerous for Hennie. Mae, Hennie's daughter, finally persuades her that it is time for her to leave the mountains she loves to live with her in Iowa. Hennie doesn't develop hard feelings over this, but admits that it is the most sensible thing to do. Throughout this novel Hennie prepares herself for her departure of Middle Swan, the mining town that has become just as much a part of her, as she is a part of the town, not knowing if she will ever be able to return.

As Hennie is getting all of her affairs in order before she leaves Middle Swan, she realizes there are a few things that the Lord wants her to take care of before she goes. One is to share her precious stories that were obtained through years of living in that mining town and another was to help out her new neighbor Nit by introducing her to some of the ladies in the area. Her final task is to face a secret that she has been running away from her entire life.

Hennie decides to take Nit under her wing because she remembers herself what it was like to be a new gal in a mining town. It would get awful lonely if you waited around for one of those ladies to reach out to you. She finds that they both have a love of quilting, so Hennie uses that as an opportunity to spend time together and even share long forgotten stories. Hennie can tell that Nit honestly enjoys listening to her old tales and actually hungers to hear more. I loved this part of the book, because I think by sharing these stories with the new generation helps to keep the memories and legacy alive long after our loved ones are gone.

If you have been to the mountains in Colorado you know how beautiful the area actually is. Dallas conveys this beauty in her writing as she also paints a picture of how hard life must have been in the mining towns. To think that when women kissed their husbands good-bye in the mornings it could have been the last kiss they shared. It was a dangerous and hard life and women were grateful when they heard their husband walking through that front door in the evenings.

I appreciate the hard work and research that Sandra Dallas put into this novel. Before reading this book I had no idea that a dredge boat for gold mining actually existed. There are actually dredge boats used for excavating purposes today, but during the mining periods working on the dredge boats was one of the most dangerous professions available. If you want more information about the dredge boats you can click here to see a picture of the first gold dredge in the United States.

I really enjoyed this novel and I want to thank Wiley from @uthors on the Web for inviting me to participate in this tour. Be sure to stop back later today for a special post from Sandra Dallas and to find out the other stops on this tour.

My Rating: 4/5


Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

Beautiful review. I so want to read this book. I also love hearing the old stories. And, now that I'm aging, I love telling my own stories too. Love Colorado too.

I have become a big fan of Sandra Dallas after reading just one book (Chili Queen). I'm on a quest now to read everything she has written. I'll be back for her guest post.

Blodeuedd said...

Great review.
Love that cover and this sure sounds like an interesting story. I am happy to hear that she has details in there too, makes it feel more real

bermudaonion said...

Wow, I love a book that can entertain me and teach me too. Great review.

Anonymous said...

Having returned from the Colorado mountains recently I think this books looks fantastic. Great review. Adding it to my list.

Debs Desk said...

Great review. I love Sandra Dallas and this book is on my wishlist. I think I might have to go and buy it.

Anonymous said...

Solid review.

I have an award for you here.

The Reading Momster said...

wow! i know i would really treasure such a oment my self... this book sounds great !!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Wonderful review Jo Jo. I loved this book, and Tallgrass is also great!