The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan, a heartfelt memento of a mother’s love through a daughter’s voice

The God BoxWhen I first heard about this book, The God Box: Sharing My Mother’s Gift of Faith, Love and Letting Go and what it was about, it started to give me a tickle in my throat and a tear in my eye.  Through the years of losing family members and watching my own mother grieve the loss of her father, I have seen and read countless books about dealing with grief and people wondering what their parents or family members would have said before they died.  This heartfelt book is something I plan on giving to my own mother for Mother’s Day because it’s a very touching memorial for author Mary Lou Quinlan and it’s the kind of books that my mom likes to read.  I received this book for the purposes of this review and I highly recommend it.  In my series of 20 Days to Mother’s Day, this is Day 2 for recommendations on heartfelt Mother’s Day gifts that you may love.  Here’s my review for The God Box: Sharing My Mother’s Gift of Faith, Love and Letting Go

Read a Q&A with the author herself



After her mother Mary Finlayson dies, her daughter uncovers 10 of her God boxes spanning over 20 years of her life.  The boxes are stuffed with tiny notes written by Mary, asking and praying for everything from the right flooring for her daughter’s new home to a cure for her own blood cancer. Mary’s petitions are presented with love and without expectation. Note by note, author Mary Lou Quinlan unearths insights into her mother’s compassion, faith, and perseverance, and revelations of her innermost thoughts—nostalgic, surprising, and even a bit shocking. And through the journey, the author discovers her own more empathetic, more engaged self—the woman her mother had believed in all along.

The Chapters

Each chapter goes into details surrounding who Mary Finlayson was as a mother to author Quinlan.  Then it goes on to discovering the God boxes and all the notes.  There chapters that go into discussing faith, her parent’s love, and elements that include the mundane to the very serious illustrating how the author’s mother had so much compassion for others and not just the immediate family.  In the later chapters, it discusses her mother’s illness and eventual death.  As you get to the end it becomes apparent that this book is also about how the author handles grief and it is something that as a reader you can definitely empathize with.

My Thoughts

This book is definitely in the same category as Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray Love or Mitch Albom’s For One More Day.  The only thing I can say is that this book is heartfelt and stunning.  It’s a short read but the book in and of itself is a keepsake and a treasure. It has actually inspired me to create a God Box.  As a single mother, I have some regrets and guilt because it seems that I work so hard and don’t have the time I wish I had to spend as much quality time I can with my children and wish I could spend more time to tell them all the time how much I love them.   I believe that Mary Lou Quinlan exquisitely captured each and every written word from her mother with a dialogue that further describes a memory that gives a wonderful mental image of each and every thought recorded by her mother.  One of the things that I loved about Mary Finalyson is that it perfectly exemplifies the greatness of what seems like an average, ordinary person.  Many people are trying to make their mark and prove their worth and yet each of us has tremendous worth and can offer the most simple messages as being the most meaningful gifts. 

To learn more about Mary Lou Quinlan, The One Women Show and The God Box check

You can also follow her at

Twitter:  @GodBoxProject


Best selling author Mary Lou Quinlan has written articles for More Magazine, Oprah and Real Simple among others, has given hundreds of keynote speeches and has appeared on several national morning shows including “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show”, “The View” and “CBS This Morning” among others.

This book is available on, Barnes and Noble and more.

Twenty Days to Mother’s Day Gifts

See Day 1 – Hello Kitty Jewelry

Disclaimer: Promotional consideration was given in order to provide a product review and/or applicable giveaways. All opinions presented are 100% my own. For more information, please read my disclosure page.  The above post may also contain affiliate links.

  • Mary Lou Quinlan

    Thank you for this lovely review. I do hope that women can find their own experience in this story. My Mom would love nothing more than thinking that her simple ritual might help others deal with life’s worries. Hands on, Mary Lou