I must admit I was a little apprehensive about reading this book at first. It was a book I happened to pick up for free for the Kindle, and I have often been disappointed with many freebies that are offered for a limited time on Kindle.
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is the story of an unusual woman, Agnes Sparrow. No longer able or willing to leave her home, where she is cared for by her long-suffering sister Griselda, Agnes has committed her life to the one thing she can do—besides eat. Agnes Sparrow prays and when Agnes prays things happen, including major miracles of the cancer, ulcer-healing variety along with various minor miracles not the least of which is the recovery of lost objects and a prize-winning pumpkin. The rural residents of Bright’s Pond are so enamored with Agnes they plan to have a sign erected on the interstate that reads, “Welcome to Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow.” This is something Agnes doesn’t want and sends Griselda to fight city hall. Griselda’s petitions are shot down and the sign plans press forward until a stranger comes to town looking for his miracle from Agnes. The truth of Agnes’s odd motivation comes out when the town reels after the murder of a beloved community member. How could Agnes allow such evil in their midst? Didn’t she know? Well, the prayers of Agnes Sparrow have more to do with Agnes than God. Agnes has been praying to atone for a sin committed when she was a child. After some tense days, the townsfolk, Griselda, and Agnes decide they all need to find their way back to the true source of the miracles—God.
via Good Reads
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow turned into exactly the kind of book I love, set in a very small town where you get to really know each individual character in detail. It reminded me of the Mitford series by Jan Karon, or even the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun. Those are favorites of mine, and so I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Joyce Magnin has a couple of other books featuring the town of Bright’s Pond and I can’t wait to get them!
The other thing I loved about this book is that Magnin definitely threw you some big curve balls when it came to these characters. Just when I thought I knew them and knew their motives, I was left gasping or feeling a little emotional about the things that they experience. If a book makes me get THAT into the characters and story, then it is a definite success with me.
I am so glad I took a chance on this book. It was a great, although unconventional, plot and I’m moving on to the next book in this series.