All about the book.

When Mary Lou Quinlan started to write The God Box, she hoped to share the remarkable discovery of her mother’s God Boxes filled with wishes and worries. But the more Mary Lou searched the little handwritten notes, the more she realized that, even after death, her mother kept teaching and reaching out. Enjoy this book about growing up as a devoted daughter and her mother’s best friend. See how to create a legacy of love for your own family. Feel the heartache and the uplift of learning to let go.

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book gallery:

  • VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER

    Mary Lou’s mother, Mary Finlayson, speaks to us in this tender, nostalgic short film that reveals the memories behind the The God Box and the lifelong bond of this family love story.

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Come meet Mary Lou and experience The God Box: A Daughter's Story at a venue near you.
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sample chapter
Enjoy a free selected chapter from The God Box.
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reading group guide
Invite your book club to join this engaging conversation about Mary Lou’s book.
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printable mini cards
Share these mini note cards or write notes for your God Box.
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mobile app
The God Box app makes it easy to write notes on the go.
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giving back
Ask how Mary Lou can support your local cause with the book and play.
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press & praise
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  • "The courage and wisdom from the messages left in her mother’s God Box will inspire you to create a God Box of your own."
    – GAIL SHEEHY, AUTHOR OF "PASSAGES IN CAREGIVING"
  • "In the slips of paper that carry this sweet story forward, we can see the love in our own families and the great possibilities of simple faith."
    – JEFFREY ZASLOW, COAUTHOR OF "THE LAST LECTURE"
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan has told the story of her mother in a way that entertains, moves and inspires. The thoughts about life and values will stick with you forever."
    – JIM LEHRER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF PBS NEWSHOUR
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan shares her mother’s handmade and heartfelt gift of how to persist, believe and move forward with joy."
    – LEE WOODRUFF, AUTHOR OF "IN AN INSTANT"
  • "A beautiful story of love, faith and family. It reads like an intimate, familiar prayer."
    – ELIZABETH GILBERT, AUTHOR OF "EAT, PRAY, LOVE"
  • "A wonderful legacy…Keeping a God Box is an incredibly moving and hopeful ritual that we should all consider adding into our daily lives."
    – REBA, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, ACTRESS
  • "What a beautiful and profoundly human book....I will keep The God Box in my heart for a long, long time."
    – LAURA SCHROFF, AUTHOR OF "THE INVISIBLE THREAD"

A love letter to Ireland

July 30, 2015
by Mary Lou Quinlan

I just returned from one of the most wondrous God Box journeys yet. This month I performed my one woman show The God Box, A Daughter’s Story in Ireland, at theaters in Limerick and Dun Laoghaire just outside Dublin city. Onstage I always learn something new, whether in small US towns, big cities or other countries. And the Irish people were the best of teachers. In the show, I am as fully open as I can be about what it means to love parents with all your heart and then lose a part of yourself when they die. Audiences react in their own unique...

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