Sunday, February 3, 2013

Excerpt - The Prayer Tree

This is one of my all time favorite books. I am so happy to offer it again for KINDLE. One of the biggest challenges with updating the 15 year old book was to decide if I would just move things forward or let the characters be older or what! I decided to move things forward in time, which created it's own issues. I hope I got it all right. 

One of the joys was realizing that the things that mattered had not changed. The friendships and laughter and the trials of a year in the life of these special ladies. I watch a lot of documentaries and find myself not wanting to bother with anything more than 5 years old because I think that the issues will have changed too much for me to really learn anything useful. Maybe that's why I love fiction so much, because the things that matter (love, making connections, helping others, finding your purpose, laughter and chocolate) don't change. 

In the spring of 1952, the women of New Bethany, Tennessee, planted apple trees. In a field north of town, these women gathered around the trees on a given day each month to pray for "the boys" gone off to the Korean War. Long after that war, the tradition had endured.
Year after year, now decade upon decade, the women of the town of all ages and faiths had come each spring to plant new trees. The quiet grove of their creation stands testament to the hope and strength of their mothers and their mothers' mothers. Through the branches of the pines and maples, cherry trees and weeping willows planted each new year, the wind whispers a promise: What we have done will not be forgotten. To love, nurture, and hope—to be a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend abides with us always.
Each spring for over sixty years new groups stepped forward, new trees were planted, new friendships formed. However, time and the pressures of the world have taken their toll on the custom of the prayer tree. In the past years, the number of women volunteering to give one year to pray for the common good of their neighbors and one another has dwindled. This year, in the tiny southern town of New Bethany, when the women go to the grove, singing, hand in hand to show their solidarity and hope, there will only be one prayer tree.