Take twelve women from different countries, different ethnic groups, different age groups, different races, different religious backgrounds, and different economic and educational level. Put them together in an unlikely voluntary prayer group. And what do you get? The Yada Yada prayer group. Also controversy, hurt feelings, love, laughter, and tears.
When Jodi Baxter's husband is accused by Adele Skugg's elderly and delusional mother of lynching her brother years ago, racial tension builds between Adele and Jodi. A short time later a woman robs the Yada Yada prayer group at Jodi's home, forcing Jodi to tie up Adele. The woman also wounds Hoshi's mother, a Shintoist visiting from Japan. Add to this Jodi's dealing with a difficult and withdrawn child in her third-grade class and you have the conflicts that the Yada Yada prayer group becomes embroiled in.
Jackson tells an entertaining story of these different women through Jodi's eyes. She paints a version of a richly diverse Christianity and illustrates some of the problems and misunderstandings that Christians as groups face through the interactions of the women involved. If any segment of evangelical Christianity is downplayed, it is primarily the fundamentalists or smaller groups such as the Amish. Jodi also makes some snide remarks about churches like the one in which she grew up where only hymns are sung, in contrast to worship and praise music.
Jackson delivers on the conflict, the resulting tensions, and the spiritual lessons of forgiveness. She includes an unusual feature at the end of the book--questions for consideration by a reading club.
This is an enjoyable novel, though the women in the group are easy to mix up at first. It's a reader's version of a Christian chick flick and will appeal to many women. Women who enjoy the Sisterchicks series will enjoy this, although this deals with more substantial issues, such as racism, repentance, and forgiveness. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
I had never felt so violated! The Yada Yada Prayer Group was “gettin’ down” with God in prayer and praise one night when a heroin-crazed woman barged into my house, demanded our valuables, and threatened us with a 10-inch knife—a knife that drew blood.
We wondered if we’d ever get back to normal after this terrifying experience. I assumed we would (although “normal” doesn’t usually describe the twelve of us wildly diverse women anyway). After all, we’d started praying together at the Chicago Women’s Conference last spring, and we’d been through a lot already as spiritual sisters. This was just one more hurdle to conquer, right?
But then a well-meaning gesture incited a backlash of anger in the group, forcing us to confront generations of racial division, pain, and distrust—and stretching our friendships to the limit. Initially I thought, Surely I, Jodi “Good Girl” Baxter, am not responsible for other people’s sins—am I? But a shocking confrontation in my third-grade classroom forced me to face my own accountability, and God used the Yada Yada Prayer Group (and my own husband, of all people!) to show me what true forgiveness really is.