The Best People In The World!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Mason Jar

While some have compared James Russell Lingerfelt's novel, The Mason Jar to Nicholas Sparks, I would beg to differ. While the story does deal with a love between college students Clayton Fincannon and Eden Valmont, I was missing something in the story that connected me to the plight that these two faced. Like all great love stories, Clayton, known as Finn, falls in love through a series of dates at Pepperdine College with Eden Valmont. They learn they share the same desire to work with underprivileged children in third world countries and both vow that their futures will be in the mission field.

The Mason Jar begins as Eden learns that Finn has written a book about their love story as she has made her way back to Pepperdine for a homecoming of sorts for alumni's and wonders if Finn still hold hard feelings towards her for abrupting ending their relationship in the form of a "Dear Finn" letter, never fully explaining the reason for leaving. The novel showcases that story as Eden spends time reading about his interpretation of their college romance and how he struggled to cope with the loss without really knowing why.

You learn that Finn tried to resolve some of those feelings by leaving for a mission trip to Africa to begin a microlending program there in hopes of truly helping the people. It turned out to be one of the most successful programs to date with a 98% success rate. But through it all, he could never resolve the feelings of love he still had in his heart for Eden. Something he tries hard to figure out in a series of letters he writes to his grandfather. When he was growing up they shared questions and answers by leaving a series of notes for one another in a glass mason jar. Those sagely letters are ones that Finn keeps with him as he tries to find a coping mechanism that will work to get Eden out of his head and heart. But like all great advice his grandfather dispense out, that isn't the case. He learns a lot from his grandfather in the process and finds himself coming home when his grandfather grows ill and subsequently passes away. It isn't until he is going through his grandfather's office that he finds the final letter that may allow him to finally move forward without simply forgetting the past.

I received The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt compliments of William and Keats Publishing and Litfuse Publicity as a complimentary copy for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. I wish the novel were a bit longer to allow for further character development between Finn's grandfather, and between Finn and Eden. I am also confused by the issue that one back cover of the book it refers to Eden as Savannah when that name isn't mentioned in the book. A bit confusing for me as I began my journey into this novel at first.

There is some great advice I love that Finn's grandfather dispenses in his letters to Finn, my favorite being, "Remember we become what our minds dwell on. It's proven in cognitive psychology that if we dwell on negative thoughts, we become negative people. 'A man reaps what he sows." If we live in the past, in a world that we cannot change, we only grow estranged from the present. We stop growing and decay. If he past brings good memories, let them brighten your present day, but do not long for their return or dwell on them. For it is the present day that must be taken care of if we are to expect to live fruitfully tomorrow. "(pg 202).

With that being said, I rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars and plan on keeping it on my permanent shelf not so much for the story content but for the advice I found in Finn's grandfather's letters. For more information about The Mason Jar, James Russell Lingerfelt, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find James Russell Lingerfelt on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Mason Jar, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

James Russell Lingerfelt's debut novel, The Mason Jar, is hot-off-the-press and causing quite the buzz. It's even been optioned for a feature film and is in pre-production.

Catch the spark by entering James' Kindle Fire giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at James Russell's blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share with me your comments. I love to know what touched you about this post or how it has blessed you in any way.