This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow
Abingdon Press (September 2009)
Joyce Magnin

Joyce Magnin is the author of short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children.

Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups.

She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; one grandson, Lemuel Earnest; one son-in-law, Joshua, and a neurotic parakeet who can’t seem to keep a name. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is her first published novel.


The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is the story of an unusual woman, Agnes Sparrow. No longer able or willing to leave her home, where she is cared for by her long-suffering sister Griselda, Agnes has committed her life to the one thing she can do-besides eat. Agnes Sparrow prays and when Agnes prays things happen, including major miracles of the cancer, ulcer-healing variety along with various minor miracles not the least of which is the recovery of lost objects and a prize-winning pumpkin.

The rural residents of Bright’s Pond are so enamored with Agnes they plan to have a sign erected on the interstate that reads, “Welcome to Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow.” This is something Agnes doesn’t want and sends Griselda to fight city hall.

Griselda’s petitions are shot down and the sign plans press forward until a stranger comes to town looking for his miracle from Agnes. The truth of Agnes’s odd motivation comes out when the town reels after a shocking event. How could Agnes allow such evil in their midst? Didn’t she know?

Well, the prayers of Agnes Sparrow have more to do with Agnes than God. Agnes has been praying to atone for a sin committed when she was a child. After some tense days, the townsfolk, Griselda, and Agnes decide they all need to find their way back to the true source of the miracles-God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, go HERE.

Visit the author’s website here. Read the author’s blog here.


I did not know what to expect when I began reading The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow but it was very different than what I had imagined. Set in the small town of Bright’s Pond, Pennsylvania, the story is filled with an abundance of unique characters. Related through the first person voice of Griselda, the tale revolves around her sister Agnes whose prayers for the townspeople have resulted in several miracles. When several members of the t0wn council decide to honor Agnes with a sign on the main highway, a series of possibly related events occur.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow has a little bit of everything – humor, tragedy, crime, drama, and suspense. As the narrative progresses, several secrets are revealed that explain how Griselda and Agnes reached their current circumstances. It was particularly interesting to learn Griselda’s feelings about caring for her sister and the hidden motivations behind it.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is an excellent example of what happens when people begin to give others credit when the honor is due to God. Then when things don’t go as expected,  those same people are quick to blame the person they put on the pedestal. This book has so many parallels to modern life that it should result in some personal reflection.