About the book:
A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways
Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.
Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.
Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?
Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.
This is a delightful novel for women, especially those who might be set in their ways. It is a well crafted story exploring what might happen when control is relinquished and God is allowed to move freely. Lives are changed, both those prayed for and those praying. Deep hurts are brought to light and hearts are healed.
The characters are well crafted too. There are young people in desperate need of prayerful love and direction. There are elderly women filled with love ready to burst out. There are a couple of dragon ladies too. Hard nosed, controlling. It is amazing to see what God can do when allowed to penetrate a controlling personality. Forced to get out of her comfort zone, Margaret declares, “Our ministry used to be such a neat and tidy operation, but now we never know what will happen next.” (3284/3424)
This is an entertaining novel but is also an encouraging one. Read it if you are ready to allow God freedom to work. And read even if you're not because you'll see what God can do. And if you are interested in a prayer shawl ministry, lots of information is included at the end of the book.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
About the author:
Sharon J. Mondragón writes about the place where kindness and courage meet. Her debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (originally titled The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) was the 2017 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis award in the Short Novel Category, and she has also been recognized by The Saturday Evening Post where her short story, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” was an Honorable Mention Awardee in the 2014 their Great American Fiction Contest.
Mondragón has been active in prayer shawl ministry since 2008 and currently serves as facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at her church, St. Paul Episcopal in Waxahachie, TX. She also knits with the Circle of Healing at Red Oak United Methodist Church. She is a Level 2 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and teaches beginning knitting at a local yarn store.
Mondragón is the mother of five grown children and has four grandchildren. After 26 years as an Army wife, she has settled in Midlothian, TX with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.
Kregel Publications, 272 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Audra Jennings PR.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)