When one of my critique partners recommended The Yada Yada Prayer Group to me, I expected it would be good. But I didn’t know I’d fall in love with it by Chapter 2.
I’d never read a novel quite like it. In some ways the story reminds me of my critique group: a group of women of all ages and backgrounds, thrown together at a conference, who decide to stay in touch and gradually become prayer partners and integral parts of each other’s lives, sisters connected by bonds only Jesus can forge. Each of the Yada Yada women seemed so real, I wasn’t all that surprised to learn from Sandra, who knows the author personally, that many of the characters are based on women in “real life.” No wonder I could see Avis, Stu, Adele, Jodi, and the others so clearly in my mind.
It was that real-ness that struck me most about the story—that captured me at the beginning and kept me reading almost voraciously until the last page. I’ve never read a novel that dealt in such honest transparency with the challenges, awkwardness, and joys of pursuing friendships “across the color line” in America today, of intentionally displacing oneself and seeking healing and understanding through the only way that really lasts—relationships.
Sandra had told me that Neta Jackson, whose name I knew from childhood due to the Trailblazer books she authored with her husband, had a heart for intentionality in racial reconciliation. And in reading about the Yada Yada sisterhood, I could tell she had lived much of what she was describing—she couldn’t write about it like that if she hadn’t. Even with my baby steps in that direction, there were many things I recognized and could relate to, “ouch” moments, laughter, and tears. The book challenged my faith as well, and reminded me how much I have to learn from sisters of other backgrounds and cultures.
I hope to find a copy of the second book in the Yada Yada Prayer Group series soon. And I’d encourage you to check them out as well. I think you’ll be glad you did!