The Yada Yada Prayer Group, a review
by Neta Jackson
Published by Thomas Nelson, 2008, 416 pages
Genre: Christian women’s fiction

This award-winning novel is about the power of prayer. It’s the start of a seven-book series about a multi-cultural prayer group in Chicago that started at a women’s prayer conference.¬† The characters come from a wide variety of backgrounds–Jodi, the protagonist, is a typical white middle-class woman with a husband and two kids; Florida is an African-American former drug addict trying to get her child out of foster care; another owns a nail salon; and so on. They¬† are learning and teaching each other about the power of prayer, and in that, this is a powerful novel. Jodi must face her pride head on after she causes a terrible accident, but I won’t spoil the rest of it for you.

What does “yada yada” mean? Even after reading the book I am not sure. I think that may be the point–it’s a fervent and worshipful prayer group for everybody and every issue. This book has inspired many women to read more of the series and to develop yada yada prayer groups of their own, based on directions at the back of this first book. (There are also some nice recipes from many of the characters.)

The book is well told. Neta Jackson has great command of the tools of the novelist and uses them well. However, I did get a little overwhelmed at the sheer number of main characters–twelve. A smaller number would work better for me. But the premise needs a large number, and I expect the individual personalities to become clearer in the next six books of the series.

I’m looking forward to reading more in this series, and I invite you to do that too.

Five stars: *****

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