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The Penny

by Joyce Meyer w/ Deborah Bedford
Read by Ellen Archer

In desperate need and with a true desire to believe, Jenny bends down and retrieves a lost penny. In one fluid moment, her life, as well as those around her, embarks on journey of change. The penny isn't magical. It isn't rare and worth millions. It's just a lost, dirty penny. Jenny's need to believe and the effort of the task results in some life changing events for both her and this 1955 St. Louis community.

Not everyone is up to a change, even those who ask for it. Jenny finds a new best friend and a job at Shaw's Jewelry store. She tests Miss Shaw's patience with her stubborn, rude behavior. She tests her new friendship, once she discovers their cultural difference has an impact on those around them. Jenny also continues to suffer the trauma of being abused by her father, while her mother ignores it and her sister finally escapes it.

I did not want to listen to this novel. I could not handle the thought of witnessing, in essence, the molesting of a child.  I knew abuse was a key point in the storyline and expected some diffcult scenes. As the storyline moved, I braced myself, but thankfully the authors handled the subjects of abuse and racism with grace and dignity. My trepidation of this novel turned into admiration. Once I turned it on, I couldn't walk away.

Throughout the novel, Jenny fills listeners in on her childhood of abuse. It's painful to hear what Jenny has endured and experience her emotions at the sound of his footsteps. However, it's liberating to see how Jenny chooses to grow thanks to those she meets away from home. "The Penny" is a heart-wrenching story gently conveyed. It's a story about a family and a community. It all leads to some much needed reminders -- minus the preaching. Meyer has many nonfiction teaching tapes, but this novel has to be the best teaching tape of all.

Actress and singer Ellen Archer narrates Hachette's audio version. Her voice has that gentle quality needed for sharing such a story. Share this one with your friends.

The Book

Hachette Audio
June 12, 2007
Audio CD - Abridged edition
10: 1594839352 13: 978-1594839351
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The Reviewer

Brenda Weeaks
Reviewed 2007
© 2007