Prayers for Sale (Dallas)

Discussion Questions 
1. The sign outside Hennie’s house says “Prayers for Sale,” yet she doesn’t sell prayers. Why does Hennie keep the sign?

2. Although they’re decades apart in age, 86-year-old Hennie and 17-year-old Nit become fast friends. What qualities do they have in common? What makes them compatible?

3. As Hennie begins her story for Nit, she says, “Back then, I wasn’t Hennie Comfort. In those days, I was called by the name of Ila Mae Stubbs.” What other transformations has Hennie made in the intervening years? What about her has stayed the same?

4. As in her previous novels, Sandra Dallas did extensive research on the dialects and period details of the era in which Prayers for Sale is set. Did the rich evocation of a gold-mining town and the quilting lore, for instance, contribute to your interest in Hennie and Nit’s relationship?

5. Hennie’s voice drives the novel, and is filled with phrases and expressions uncommon today. What does Dallas’s commitment to verbal authenticity add to her portrait of Hennie? What expressions did you find especially memorable?

6. Quilting plays a central role in fostering Nit and Hennie’s friendship. Towards the end of the book, Nit says, “Quilts are like lives. They’re made up of a lot of little pieces.” Do you think this is true? Does the structure of the book reflect this perspective?

7. Were you surprised by the book’s final scene? What would you have done, if you were in Hennie’s shoes? Would Hennie’s life have been different if she had done so earlier?

8. Have you read other novels by Sandra Dallas? Which characters do you recognize from her previous books?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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