THE YADA YADA PRAYER
Integrity Publishing, September 2003
Reviewed by Susan Conatser
Jodi Baxter accepts Avis Johnson's invitation to attend the Chicago Women's Conference for Christian women. Jodi, a third grade teacher and mother of two teenagers, will be sharing a hotel room with Avis. Upon their arrival they find each attendee is assigned to a prayer group with twelve women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Avis Johnson, the principal of Bethune Elementary, is also the worship leader for her church, Uptown Community. She's a classy, statuesque, African American woman who is serious about prayer.
Flo Hickman, the roommate they weren't expecting, is a recovering drug and alcohol user. She's known the Lord for five years and is the sole supporter of her husband and three kids.
Delores Enriques is a pediatric nurse and mother of five. She's brought along Edesa, her Honduran baby-sitter, who is a young college student.
Nony Sisulu-Smith, dressed in an African style costume, is from South Africa. Her guest is Hoshi Takahashi, a Japanese student from her husband's history class at Northwestern University, where he is a professor.
Adele Skuggs, the owner of a hair and nails salon in Rogers Park, is the most prickly woman in the group. She's the attends Paul and Silas Apostolic Church with her friend Chanda George, a Jamaican.
Leslie "Stu" Stuart, a real estate agent, appears as the perfectly groomed, in control lady, but are things always exactly as they appear?
Ruth Garfield, a lapsed Jew, is a new Christian who is having a rocky time in her marriage. She's brought Yo-Yo, a spiky haired young woman who works in the Bagel Bakery with her. Yo-Yo is a former inmate from Lincoln Correctional Institute.
THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP explores some powerful issues for women. Neta Jackson has crafted an amazing novel featuring some varied and well-rounded characters. The interaction between these women is very real. Their insecurities and fears about connecting with other people are things every woman can relate to. The drama that brings them into crisis is well written with a twist that will surprise readers.
You probably won't be the first reader to wonder if this book is a spin off on THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD novel, but the similarities end with the title. THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP is an honest and funny look at multiethnic relationships in the Christian community. A discussion guide is provided in the back of the book to facilitate group interaction. This is an enjoyable story written by a genuinely talented author.
May 2004 Review
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