"For so long, she'd taken her memories of Patty - the memories they'd created together - and held them outside of herself, protecting herself from the pain of carrying them deep within. It was as if she carried all the memories in her jars. But if doing so, it was as if she'd also kept everyone else - those still in her life - at arm's length too."
Sarah Shelter knows she is different from most Amish girls. She can quilt but doesn't enjoy it, loves to bake, but doesn't like cooking, and find herself spending most of her time dreaming and wishing of a life she believes God wants for her, but because it might go against what others want for her, she pushes those thoughts back. Instead she spends her time and talents pouring her heart and soul in the baked goods she makes for Annie, her boss at West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery in the heart of the Montana mountains. Her customers can taste all the love she puts into each of her creations and she dreams of sometime owning her own bakery.
When the tragedy of losing her best friend Patty during an accident at the lake, she pushes her hopes and dreams back into herself much like the trinkets she has collected over the years she stores in her memory jars. She can only hope that some day she can find a man who will love the real Sarah that lies bottled up inside waiting for that special someone to unlock her dreams.
Jathan Schrock believes that "There is not a pot so crooked there isn't a lid to fit it. Years ago, Jathan knew he would have tried to pound himself into shape - but he struggles to find a way to express the passion and love he has inside that goes against what he father feels a true Amish man should measure up to and for now, takes so time to head to Montana to hunt and make some money to help his family out during their hard financial times. Yet he doesn't realize how one adventure hiking into the mountains with a group of Amish young adults will change his life forever in both good and bad ways.
In the novel The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer, the reader is immersed into a different story from any I've read before. The setting of a mountain Amish community is a bit different and LOVE how Tricia incorporated the love of the forests and animals into the adventures and friendship Patty and Sarah share and build, but also one that Jathan and Sarah discover as well. I love Sarah's love for baking and in it she discovers she has a talent that God created in her that is different than most in her Amish community. She finds herself at odds with most in the Amish that believe that Sarah is going to far in her creativity and many find it prideful, but Sarah sees things differently.
I received this novel compliments of Zondervan Publishing and Net Galley for my honest opinion and love the parallel storylines that take place throughout this book. While Sarah feels she has lost her friendship with Patty forever, she soon discovers that Patty has been with her all along in the things she decides to do once she works past her grief. I love the memory jar concept and have one myself to look back on things that mean a lot to me that happen over the year. This is a beautifully written Amish novel that will inspire and encourage those that have gone through a sense of loss as well as searching for what our life's purpose is. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and this is one you will definitely want to pick up when it comes out this October. Make sure you preorder your copy today. This is the first book in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and this will be one you'll want to begin and follow.
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- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (October 23, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310335108
- ISBN-13: 978-0310335108