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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow

Abingdon Press (September 2009)

by

Joyce Magnin



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joyce Magnin is the author of short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children.

Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups.

She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; one grandson, Lemuel Earnest; one son-in-law, Joshua, and a neurotic parakeet who can’t seem to keep a name. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is her first published novel.


ABOUT THE BOOK

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 a shocking event. 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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, go HERE

My Review:

Solid, engaging writing and strong characters bring added readability to one of the more unique story lines I've read this year. A seven-hundred pound woman prays for her town. It's all she can do since she is housebound due to her size and medical conditions. The townspeople benefit from those prayers -- several healings take place and Agnes becomes a hero and a vending machine for blessings. Her neighbors bring a never ending supply of food and Agnes eats and prays and eats and prays.

But underneath the safety of her layers of insulation lies a secret that changes everything.

This story is thought-provoking. Many Christians and religious folks have a tendency to idolize servants rather than the God who gives power and bestows blessings. We also tend toward judging those who are different or have experiences different from ours. And then the biggest question of all...how can a woman so grossly entrenched in the sin of gluttony be a woman whose prayers are answered so abundantly?

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