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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  • "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"
  • "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
  • "A beautiful story of love, faith and family. It reads like an intimate, familiar prayer."
    – ELIZABETH GILBERT, AUTHOR OF "EAT, PRAY, LOVE"
  • "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 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
  • "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"
  • "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"

From the Bottom of my Heart

December 17, 2014
by Mary Lou Quinlan

At our Thanksgiving table, as so many families do, we go around before we eat to acknowledge what each of us is grateful for. I always got teary when I spoke because the memories would flood back one over the other, making it impossible to list all the gifts from those I hold dear. Even the hardest years have moments of light (and bold-faced names!) to remember. This year I would like to thank the thousands of people who came to The God Box Project--whether through the book or the play or the app--particularly those who hosted events so that...

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