The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer first came to my attention last winter. Several ladies in my online book club were reading it and enjoying it, and since I’d enjoyed a couple of Ms. Goyer’s other books, I decided to give it a try. What I found was a story that echoed a piece of my own eclectic home.
If I want to be remembered for anything, cupcakes would be it.
Book Description from Amazon
Every year, 30–40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive ‘resident’ status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides. Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love and be married. Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she’s also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she’s met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?
What I Thought
I fell in love with the main character’s penchant for collecting small reminders of favorite moments. Storing them each in a jar, each odd bit of something reminds her of a step in her journey. More than once I’ve looked around my own home at the odd collection of things I keep near me. While no room in my home will ever grace the covers of a decor magazine, so many things remind me of cherished people, places, and events.
“Sometimes God calls us to take big leaps of faith but other times …” Patty looked to Sarah with a twinkle in her eyes. “Other times He jest wants us to offer a bit of love in a way another will gladly accept it.”
I loved how Ms. Goyer put a bit of tenacity into Sarah. Although Sarah has used painful circumstances as an excuse in the past to run-and-hide, once she begins to heal and grow, she steadfastly continues on that path. Even when a situation easily lends itself to the old habits, she determines to follow God by staying put and giving Him time to work out His plan.
I also appreciated how the author worked in growth for many in the community. Change is hard, and while some around us will never accept new ideas easily, I was glad to see that more than just Sarah learned from what was going on around her.
The Bottom Line – 5 stars
If you enjoy gentle amish stories then I recommend giving this book a try.
About the Author
Tricia Goyer has written more than thirty-five books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and non- fiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. In addition to writing and family time, Tricia enjoys sharing Jesus’ love through volunteering and ministering to others. Her vision is to be a voice of hope and possibility for teenage girls, pregnant teen girls, mothers, and wives. Her intention is to serve ordinary women by encouraging them to do extraordinary things with God’s help.
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DISCLOSURE: I purchased this book on my own and was not asked by the author or publisher for a review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”