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."
When it comes to heartrending and emotional fiction nobody does it better than Tricia Goyer. With her latest book The Memory Jar we're once again treated to a story of loss and hope set in Montana and Ohio Amish country. Fans of her previous Amish novels will be delighted to know that Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors starts off wonderfully and will surely continue to improve as the series progresses. To be honest this story took a long time to get into but the last third of the book involving an incident with Jathan Schrock as a boy and his father and Sarah and the discovery about her deceased friend Patty nearly had me in tears. Throughout most of the story both seemed rather impetuous and juvenile but they both grew up amidst a family tragedy that I really think made them more easy to relate to and like. The flashbacks to Sarah's youth and her time with her best friend, Patty really gave this story a unique twist. If you're looking for a romance I didn't think this reads like a love story but more of a coming of age story or even a women's fiction book. In spite of the series' name this isn't a fluffy read by any stretch but it's worth a look if you're looking for a solid Amish tale.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. 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.*
There was something about the setting in this tale that was so charming, I and loved the originality of it. The characters were very likable and easy to connect to from the very start. Even though Ms. Goyer has other Amish books I have never read any, but I did really like her book about the Titanic, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, and I immensely enjoyed this story.
Jathan, I thought was really likable, and the perfect person to help Sarah move on from a past she couldn't change. He was so kind, with a quirk of humor and he didn't know exactily what he wanted but he had a great start and a direction.
To me this book was really likable because it had a sweet romance, but also a more serious side with Sarah still healing from a past tragedy.
This was an engaging and likable read, with a very nice balance to it so it wasn't light and airy, but it wasn't over bearingly heavy either. In other words just perfect!
This is definitely a book that I would happily recommend, even to readers that might no think that Amish is their thing. It was a highly enjoyable read, with great faith elements, and messages of inspiration.
I received this book from the publisher through Litfuse in return for an honest review. Thank you!
"Sometimes God wants us to take big leaps of faith but other times...other times he jest wants us to offer a bit of love in a way another will gladly accept it."
Patty, The Memory Jar
Sarah Shelter loves to bake, especially cakes and cupcakes. She dreams of running a bakery of her own one day. For a long time, Sarah took her memories of her best friend, Patty, and stored them away as a method to protect herself. It was like she put all her memories of Patty in the jars along with the treasures she collected. But, by closing herself off to the painful parts of her past she was closing everyone else off from her too. Until now....
Jathan Schrock also has a dream, but he is caught between his dream and his duty. He is sure that as an Amish man and a follower of God, he should put the needs of his family first. Jathan has another problem...his father does not approve of his dream and has told him so...loud and clear. Will this mean Jathan needs to let his dream go and just live as his family expects? Will he ever have his father's blessing to follow the dream he holds so close to his heart?
The Memory Jar will be released on October 23, 2012. Thank you, Zondervan, for the free advanced copy to read, in exchange for my honest review.
Tricia Goyer has been on my list of new authors to read for a while. This is the first novel of hers that I have read and I wasn't disappointed. When I read the synopsis of The Memory Jar, I was drawn to the book immediately. Sarah and I already had a connection. Sarah dreams of having a bakery and making fancy cupcakes and I have been running my home-based cake decorating business for the last 5 years. So this book sounded right up my alley.
I read most of my books off an ereader and sometimes I am caught by surprise that the book is already over. (I know you can look at the little slide at the bottom, but I don't always do that!) As I was reading, I got to a point where I thought this story could have ended, but to my delight it kept going!
The Memory Jar is a captivating story that kept me wondering how it might end. I enjoyed both the community in Montana and the one in Ohio. The characters were loveable and I particularly enjoyed Patty and her "old soul".
Whether you are a fan of Amish fiction or not, I think you would enjoy this book.