Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Prayers for Sale

Post by Ashley
This book was not action packed. It was not gripping. It was not fast paced. There wasn't a whole lot of plot to speak of. But I really, really loved it.

Prayers for Sale
is a mellow, bittersweet reminiscence of a time past and almost forgotten. Set high in the Colorado Rockies in 1936, it tells the story of the crossing of two generations in one of the harsher environments of that era---a small mountain mining town where winter grips the land for seven months out of the year. The main characters are an 86-year-old woman who's a long-time resident and a recently married 17-year-old girl who's just crossed the plains with her husband, come to try his hand at gold-dredging.

Hennie, the older woman, takes it upon herself to welcome Nit, the newcomer, to the community and to do her utmost to make Nit feel less of an outsider. Pressured by her worried daughter, Hennie herself is soon to move away from her 70-year home for good to become a "lowlander." Before she goes, Hennie is determined to impart her lifetime of stories to one who will cherish them and pass them along---Nit.

So basically, the book consists of the women sitting and quilting and telling each other stories. The stories range from fun to fascinating to tragic and moving. The overlying plot that ties the book together is Hennie's preparations to move down the mountain, tying up loose ends she's left over the years, mourning the loss of her home, and settling a secret she's had lodged in her heart for many, many decades, as well as Nit's story of coming to terms with a tragic loss, figuring out where she belongs, and finally becoming a permanent member of the community.

All in all, this was a charming, happy read. The author's ear for the dialect of the time is absolutely impeccable and totally delightful. I think I'm going to start saying "I disremember." As a side note, this book would make a great Mother's Day gift, if anyone's looking for one.

Two thumbs up!

1 comment:

  1. 1936? How come there's no swing dancing in it?

    !

    ReplyDelete

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