First of all, I found the concept of a "memory jar" as kept by Sarah in "The Memory Jar" rather quaint even for an Amish story. To think that teens and adults would collect rocks, tiny pinecones, etc. and store them in a jar to aid as a tool to recollect their special moments or experiences in life is not in keeping with any society beyond that one really backward or very young. In spite of my concept and thinking on a "memory jar" that is an item of particular importance in The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer.
When a young girl our heroine and her young friend both keep their memories intact inside th memory jar. This becomes especially important to Sarah after her best friend Patty dies in a boating accident. Memories are all Sarah has left of Patty and therefore the jar becomes important.
Sarah can not seem to get into the boy meets girl and girl and boy marry scenario that is expected of the Amish. She is not much for routine housekeeping responsibility and dotes on her skills as a "fancy" baker. She dreams of one day having her own bakery.
Jathan arrives on the scene along with other young Amish bachelors who come to the area hunting - both for wild game and for brides. Jathan is somewhat shy but he has spotted Sarah. They are in a group that goes hiking and become well acquainted because she has an injury and he helps her.
As the story progresses, they have family and community issues that put roadblocks in their path. It looks like things might work out for them and then it all falls apart. Will their relationship end up in the memory jar? Will it be a good memory, or will it be a memory of heartbreak?
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of the book on behalf of the publisher and author in exchange for my honest review.
This is the story of Sarah Shetler and her healing and finding a new life. As a little girl her family moved from Kentucky to Montana, where she is befriended by Patty. Patty and Sarah share so much of their youth together and create so many memories.
When we begin this book there has been a tragic accident and Sarah's Dear friend Patty has been killed. For Sarah, Patty was that perfect "almost Sister" type friend. They shared so many memories...as we travel through the book we are given glimpses into there happy moments. They each had a memory jar...little tokens of a special memory. How awesome...we all carry these precious thoughts, but to touch something that brings us back to those moments. Wonderful!
I feel Sarah's pain and how hard it must have been for her to find peace and feel those happy times now that her friend is gone. Along come Jathan, he has come to search his heart, and spend time in the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana. Every year bachelors come to go hunting in the mountains.
When they find an attraction to one another, Sarah lets down her guard and starts sharing Patty with him. He also lets her know his Mam owns a Bakery! Sarah's passion is making incredible cupcakes....I want her recipes! YUM!
When Jathan is called back home after is Daed had had a stroke will it be the end for them?
This is a story of finding oneself, and peace at our decisions, and following what is God's plan.
This is the first book in this series, and am anxious to read more of this heart warming stories!
I received this book through Litfuse Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
This moment is the most important one of all. We can either enjoy it, and the people we are with; or we can wish for something from the past back, or want to rush into the future. But then we miss the gifts that are here...in this moment.
Sarah Shelter misses her best friend, Patty, who two years before drowned in a boating accident. Sarah learned a lot about life from Patty, and she is the one who helped to start Sarah's interest in making memory jars. Sarah keeps little trinkets that she has collected to help her remember special times. These memories, especially the ones she made with Patty, Sarah holds outside of herself; in her jars.
As a way to deal with her grief, Sarah turned to her baking, and works at the West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery as one of their bakers. She finds solace in baking things, especially cupcakes, that make people smile. Sarah also has a dream, a dream that Patty had encouraged, which is to own her own bakery one day. But her Mem wants her to focus on finding a husband and becoming a good Amish wife.
Jathan Schrock (one of the bachelors who is visiting West Kootenai, Montana on a hunting trip) has his own issues from the past that he needs to deal with. He also would like to have his own business, and a wife and kids someday, but he knows that it is his duty as the youngest son to support his aging parents.
The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer is a sweet story that contains both a love for God's creation, as well as a message of how God can heal broken hearts when we let him. Jathan and Sarah are both well-developed characters; who had endured themselves to my heart. Tricia has done a wonderful job of depicting the Amish way of life in the first book of her new series Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors; which captivated me from the first page to the last. A very enjoyable story. I now look forward to the next book, The Promise Box
**The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
Sarah Shelter baked the best cupcakes in West Kootenai, Montana. Some of the visiting young Amish bachelors claim they are the best they have ever eaten.
Sarah has been invited to go hiking up the mountain with some of the local Amish girls and some visiting Amish Bachelors. It was to be a fun outing. She needs to make new friends. She has mourned the loss of her best friend for some time now. The young woman drowned in a boating accident. Sarah must move on with her life but it is so hard to forget that tragic day and the loss of her friend.
On the hiking trip circumstances beyond her control bring Sarah and Jathan Schrock, one of the bachelors together. She must trust him to get her back down the mountain. His kindness and attentiveness touched her heart. They were able to share their dreams with each other and Sarah told him about the loss of her friend and the pain of that loss. Sarah even told him about the Memory Jar. She has found a new friend in this handsome young Amish man. Will she be able to trust him with her heart and dreams.
Sarah is a beautiful character she has so much love for God and her fellow man whether they be Amish or English. When she leaves her mountain she feels the pressure of change and some people attempt to stifle her brilliant light of love, along with her dreams.
The character Jathan is the youngest in his large family and he feels burdened by the goals and demands of his family especially his father. He has never been able to share his dream for the future with them. But with Sarah it was different she encourages him to follow his dream if it is God's will. He ends up letting other people cloud his judgement which in turn caused a lot of people pain.
Fear seemed to play a big role in this story.
Tricia Goyer knows how to grab your attention and keep it. The story is a valuable life lesson that will inspire the reader.
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan/Litfuse Group for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
Sarah Shelter still misses her best friend several years after she drowned. Patty taught Sarah a lot about life, she is the one that got Sarah started on her first memory jar. Not only did she lose Patty, but after the drowning she lost Patty's brother, Michael, who she had a huge crush on. Patty's mother could not take living in Montana with so many memories so they moved.
Sarah has had a hard time moving on with her life and throws herself into baking, mainly cupcakes. She has found a new man she thinks she'd like to spend the rest of her life with, Amos. Amos doesn't show her much interest, although he's friendly, he's not ready to see any one girl.
Jathan has come to Montana from Berlin, OH to find himself, he is being forced into working in a factory so his dad and brothers can build furniture in their small shop. They need Jathan to bring in some steady money to help support the entire family. Jathan isn't interested in woodwork, he likes to bake and do bookwork.
Sarah, Amos, Jathan and some others go on a hike in the mountains, the same mountain trail that leads to a cabin Patty and Sarah had found when they were young and it leads to the lake where Patty had drowned. Sarah twists her ankle and decides to wait while the rest of the group proceed. When it starts getting dark she's afraid they forgot about her and starts limping back down the trail. On the way she sees a different path and decides to take that, she soon comes to a dead end and it's too late to try to make it all the way back down so she decides to wait the night out there and prays a bear doesn't find her.
Jathan is worried about Sarah and tells the rest of the group to go ahead on down the other side of the mountain and to send for help if he and Sarah don't meet them at the bottom. When Sarah is not where they left her, he sees her footprints and follows her trail, luckily he takes the same trail she did and finds her sitting on a log. They end up spending the night in the woods and getting to know each other. In the morning they wake up early and head on down, where they meet the rescuers heading up the mountain along with her parents.
During Sarah's recovery Jathan helps her with her baking and they get to know one another better. They are soon talking about his mother's bakery back in Ohio and they are both having ideas of their own that seem to be about the same things, baking together and spending more time together so they can get to know even more about each other. When Jathan gets called home after his dad had a stroke and they aren't sure he'll even survive, things don't look too good for their future.
When Jathan gets home and sees his dad, he can't talk, he feels even more like he's being forced into working at the factory. Not only that, Anna, his mother's friends daughter, thinks they will be married. The two mothers have talked about their marriage since they were little kids. Jathan talks to his dad, even though he can't answer, and tells him of his new plans, plans to bring Sarah to work in the bakery with his mom and his aunt. They will start selling cupcakes, he will do the books and he is not going to work at the factory.
Sarah arrives in Berlin, goes to work at the bakery and soon business is booming. There is a problem though, the regular customers are no longer coming in because of the changes that have been made, suggestions made by Sarah. Jathan's mom and aunt voice their opinion and he finds himself firing Sarah immediately and going to work in the factory. It seems the mother that wanted her son to marry Sarah now wants nothing to do with her, not only that she doesn't want her son to have anything to do with her.
Now Sarah has to figure out what she's going to do, she likes Ohio but can she stay there, should she go back to Montana to her family and how soon does she have to make a decision.
Tricia does a wonderful job of keeping you interested in this story, she tugs at your heartstrings for sure. There are ups and downs, just like life has, and what a wonderful friend Sarah had in Patty and it's amazing the things she taught Sarah about life in their young lives that helped her later on. The idea of a memory jar is a beautiful idea and the things Patty says it can teach you. Tricia gives you a lot of things to think about are plentiful.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley <http://www.netgalley.com/> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."