Monday, October 4, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady, Sharon J. Mondragón

I was invited to read this book as part of a blog tour, and very much enjoyed it. Sharon Mondragón has created a likeable tale about four women who meet to knit prayer shawls. 

I’ll be honest, I had no idea knitting prayer shawls was a thing. But I can see how it would naturally develop. Christian women who love to knit, gather together, and create shawls to give to people in situations of need. It seems they pray silently as they knit, and pray at the beginning and end of each shawl project. It seems to be a ministry of creative, thoughtful care.

In this novel, Peter McIlhaney, rector of Hope and Glory community church, has been told that his church is going to be shut down. He devises a last ditch effort to reach out to the community, by sending the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry off site. To date they have happily met in silent tranquility in the prayer chapel.

Margaret, self appointed head of the group is outraged. How could they possibly go to the busy mall and pray while knitting? The other members of the group are a little more open to the idea. Rose has recently entered aged care, and is struggling to adjust to the changes. Fran’s husband died 18 months earlier, leaving her completely bereft. Jane struggles with a well-kept secret about her son as well as parenting two bickering, teenage daughters.

As they set up in the mall, they slowly become known to the shop staff and regulars who pass by. People start asking for prayer. Some want to learn how to knit. Some end up coming to church on Sundays. As they become more involved in the lives of all these new friends, they each have to face their own hurts of the past.

If I was going to be picky, I would say that the entire model of prayer seems to be supplication; all about things people want God to do for them. No praising God for who he is, what he has done in Christ, or how we receive salvation through him. Yet, it’s not all about passing tests and getting jobs, either. Some relationships are healed and restored, both with people but also with God.

An enjoyable book with a satisfying group of (primarily) mature female characters, who are complex yet long to serve others. I can imagine numerous female readers, especially those who knit or are Christian, enjoying this one.

If you want to enter a competition for a free copy - go here. And if you go to this post, I think you can link to read an excerpt.

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