I do believe this to be the first Amish book I have read and I loved it!
This is the story of Sarah Shelter. Having lost her best friend, Patty, Sarah struggles to allow herself to move on. Having suffered loss of a close loved one, I completely understand. Sarah lives in West Kootenai, Montana where young Amish men come in the spring to live for at least 6 months so they can gain resident status for the hunting season. Each year these "bachelors" often leave with a bride.
For five years, Sarah has allowed love to pass her by, but this year is different. She has some stirrings for Amos not even paying attention to Jathan Schrock. Then, one day a group of friends goes on a hike and life will never be the same!
Sarah keeps a jar with little trinkets she has gathered throughout her life. These serve to remind her of the many memories of life. I love how this habit helps her through her life's decisions and helps her as her life progresses to new adventures. Sarah's dream is to own her own bakery. This dream is a struggle as she likes the 'fancy' things, like decorated cupcakes. So different from the 'simple' things of the Amish life.
Jathan comes from a place where his life has been planned out for him. He is to return to work in the local factory to help take care of his parents. We come to find out that he, too, has an interest in helping with his mom's bakery! Given this hard choice, what would you do? Follow your heart and passion? Or take the job for its security?
You will have to read this great book to find out how it works out in the end. But, suffice to say, that Lord does work in mysterious ways and what we think we want may not be exactly how it works out. Sometimes exciting and new things seem like a good idea and seems like it is the perfect solution to please everyone may or may not work out that way! Change is good, but is it for everyone?
Also, note that you just never know how the people you meet along the way will affect your life's outcome. The great lesson is to trust in the Lord and follow his guidance. Which brings me to the quote I'd like to share: "...the more Sarah thought about the word faith, the more she realized it was all about looking ahead." (pg 240) "...we jest need to keep walking in the direction God pointed us last, and if we keep looking fer him and waiting on him, God will let us know when to make a change of direction." (pg 136)
Do you trust in the Lord to guide you? Enough to follow him? How do you remember your memories? Do you have a jar with a collection of all kinds of things?
Disclosure: As part of the Tricia Goyer 2013Fiction Launch Team, I did receive a free copy of this book; however I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are completely my own!
The Memory Jar is a beautiful story of blossoming love and the healing of past hurts. Although both main characters are strong Christians, they must learn to truly trust that God has their best interests at heart.
Sarah Shelter must heal from the hurt in her heart caused by the tragic death of her best friend, Patty. It seems that Sarah's life ground to a halt when Patty's ended. She throws herself into her baking and makes amazing cupcakes, but does not embrace life anymore.
Jathan Schrock is a visitor to her community, a bachelor who has come to hunt and sort out the mixed emotions he has toward his family. The weight of others' expectations weighs heavily on him and as he tries to determine what path to follow, he finds himself falling for Sarah.
Will Sarah and Jathan be able to find a path to walk together? How will other people's expectations and perceptions of them color their relationship? Tricia Goyer writes a wonderful story, with flashbacks to conversations that Sarah and Patty had throughout their lives. I am looking forward to reading the second book of the series.
Tricia you had me hooked before the first chapter ended. The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer was a very enjoyable book. I loved the whole idea of memory jars and thought it made this book all the more special in light of Sarah having lost her best friend. I liked how the reader is introduced to
Sarah and her best friend, Patty as children and then are allowed inside their heads to understand them as people. Jathan was an Amish "knight in shining armor" and Sarah soon sees him in that role.
The memory jar is about friendship, love, family and loyalty. I will be watching for the next books in the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers series. Tricia gets a high 5 for The Memory Jar.
I received this book from Net Galley and Zondervan for my honest review.
This may look like a regular amish romance, but trust me, it's not.
There is a depth to it, which is even more elegant, seen through the simple life of amish people.
This is a story about loss.
About fear and about shutting your feelings inside, and being scared of letting anyone get close.
Our heroine, Sarah, may be a little simple at times, but at last she does get it right. And personally I believe that, amish or not, simple or not, it took guts to behave as she did at the second half of the book.
The first half of the book, so to speak, is a gentle romance. Of the kind that refreshes you as you read it, and calms you, and warms your heart. Jathan is so big and strong and sensitive, and he is so protective of her, I just loved him. But then, in the second half of the book, the issues are kicked up a notch.
Sarah has to leave her comfort zone, and she has to strike out and make desicions for herself.
She has to be braver than ever before and she has to face the greatest fear of them all.
And trusting God with her life.
I loved this book, and the lessons it contains. I will only deduct one point because I didn't like the way Jathan behaved at the end, I thought he was weak and a coward and it was out of character for him. In fact, I thought it was a bit foolish how Sarah immediately took him back, somewhat immature.
But other than that I completely recommend this book to those who have no problem reading about the amish way of life.
I received this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.
I was enamored with this book from the start. Can you just imagine the commotion that these bachelors raise every spring when they arrive in this tiny community? I can just picture all those sweet young girls whispering and giggling together as they check out this year's new crop of eligible men. It just makes me smile thinking about it.
Since this is a Tricia Goyer book there are a couple of different things going on that she has masterfully woven together to create a satisfying story. Both of our main characters have back stories that affect the budding relationship between the two of them. Sarah can't seem to move past the loss of her best friend and Jathan has family obligations that he just can't find peace about.
One of my favorite aspects of this story is when the two of them have conflict they actually talk about what is bothering them. Many authors use misunderstandings to push the story along. I prefer Tricia's approach to deepening the storyline and the characters themselves. By the end of the novel both Jathan and Sarah have matured in their walk of faith and in their relationships with others.
Let me give you a little warning . . . this book is going to make you hungry! Hungry for the delicious sounding cupcakes that Sarah is famous for and hungry for the next book in the series. The Promise Box is the title of book two and is scheduled to come out in May 2013. I will definitely be looking forward to it.