I am happy to read any book by Tracy Groot. Yeah, she’s an award winning author. And yeah, she’s somebody I’m glad to call my friend (name drop!). But on top of that, she’s a darn good writer who writes well (without preaching) about faith.
This book, though? Maggie Bright? It’s my favorite. I loved the characters and wished they’d stick around awhile even after I’d finished the last page. People, she made me cry. That’s not easy to do. I rarely cry when reading a novel.
What earned my tears? A lovely character called The Shrew.
She was a little bit Hyacinth Bucket (for any Keeping Up Appearances fans) and another bit Mrs. Potts (from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) and all the way fantastic, as far as characters go.
Well, Mrs. Shrewsbury (her proper name) writes a letter at the end of the novel. In it, she talks about prayer. Prayer as what we say to God and what we DO for others. We pray as we move.
It’s really beautiful and I’d love for you to read it all for yourself so you can experience the power of this story. Prayer is essential to this novel. But it was also what saved Europe from the Nazis. No joke.
Often, I pray and feel like I’m just treading water. Ever feel that way? I suspect I’m not alone in this. But I keep on praying regardless. Why? Because I have to.
I’ve experienced answered prayers. Mine and those of others. And I’ve seen the work of prayer when I use my hands and feet and watch others do the same.
When Tracy signed my book (seriously, it’s the coolest to have author friends), she wrote this:
She’s right, you know. She is. And now, when I peek inside the cover of my copy of Maggie Bright, I see Tracy’s encouragement there and I’m reminded.
Prayer is in my quiet meditation on my Heavenly Father. It’s the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I slap together for my kids. It’s the cup of coffee I hand my husband. It’s the smiles I share with others or the kind words and even the patient ones. Prayer is the tapping of my fingers on the keys of my laptop as I write.
And prayer is in the words of a novel that so moves me that I can’t help but weep for the goodness of God for all His mercies.
For that, I say a prayer of thanksgiving for my friend Tracy and her willingness to write such a beautiful novel as Maggie Bright.
I’d love to know: What book (or books) have deepened your prayer life? Or maybe encouraged you in your life of faith? Sometimes these novels are even written outside the Christian Publishing world. I love hearing from you!