Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn Of The Dragon Lady By Sharon J. Mondragón + GIVEAWAY

The Unlikely Yarn Of The Dragon Lady
by Sharon J. Mondragón
Publisher: Kregel
ISBN: 978-0825447020

Once again I had an introduction to a new-to-me author and I was so glad I took the chance. I mean, the name alone makes one want to try it out, right? So, I was sent the book for review.


A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways

Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.

To read an excerpt of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady click here.

My Review:

This story was such a surprise! I had no idea I was going to enjoy it so much.

You know when there's a character that you just can't stand for whatever reason? Because the author has written that character SO well that you are fed up with them almost from the start? This author had this gift with a couple of the characters in her book. On the flip side she created characters who tugged on my heartstrings or made me want to hug them.

This is women's fiction at its best. Four women at different stages in life (mostly) who are dealing with all kind of things. I loved the depth of each one and could see myself in each of them to a degree. I could relate to Margaret and her unhealthy need for control... over everything. I don't know how her legalism didn't push every single person away from her! And Rose... she's a great reminder to all of us that just because someone is older, it doesn't mean they're invalids. Fran and Jane, though younger than the other ladies had a LOT going on emotionally as well.

Their Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry, while a good ministry the way it was, became something of a super natural powerhouse once they moved to the mall. I loved watching God work not only in the lives of mall goers, but even more so in the lives of the women in the ministry. Seeing God move in different and unexpected ways was a treat, even when it was difficult sometimes. I think that's what I loved the most about this story - how God moved in so many ways. He gave evidence of himself over and over again.

I was surprised at how emotional this book was. Coming to care for each of the main characters was easy, but it was just as easy to be touched by the secondary characters. I have to admit, I want to learn how to knit now and wish I Rose was in my life. Crazy as it might seem, but I think she was my favorite character. Yes, the 85 yr old woman living in assisted living is my favorite. I need a Rose in my life.

About the Author:

Sharon J. Mondragón writes about the place where kindness and courage meet. Her debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (originally titled The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) was the 2017 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis award in the Short Novel Category, and she has also been recognized by The Saturday Evening Post where her short story, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” was an Honorable Mention Awardee in the 2014 their Great American Fiction Contest.

Mondragón has been active in prayer shawl ministry since 2008 and currently serves as facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at her church, St. Paul Episcopal in Waxahachie, TX. She also knits with the Circle of Healing at Red Oak United Methodist Church. She is a Level 2 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and teaches beginning knitting at a local yarn store.

Mondragón is the mother of five grown children and has four grandchildren. After 26 years as an Army wife, she has settled in Midlothian, TX with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.

Visit Sharon Mondragón’s website and blog at www.sharonjmondragon.com and follow her on Facebook (Sherry Mondragón) and Twitter (@SJ_Mondragón).


Savannalea said...

I love the title of this book. It sounds like an interesting read!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds interesting. I love the cover.

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