About the book: Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series
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.
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?
My thoughts: First of all, I found the concept of a "memory jar" as kept by Sarah in "The Memory Jar" rather quaint even for an Amish story. To think that teens and adults would collect rocks, tiny pinecones, etc. and store them in a jar to aid as a tool to recollect their special moments or experiences in life is not in keeping with any society beyond that one really backward or very young. In spite of my concept and thinking on a "memory jar" that is an item of particular importance in The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer.
When a young girl our heroine and her young friend both keep their memories intact inside th memory jar. This becomes especially important to Sarah after her best friend Patty dies in a boating accident. Memories are all Sarah has left of Patty and therefore the jar becomes important.
Sarah can not seem to get into the boy meets girl and girl and boy marry scenario that is expected of the Amish. She is not much for routine housekeeping responsibility and dotes on her skills as a "fancy" baker. She dreams of one day having her own bakery.
Jathan arrives on the scene along with other young Amish bachelors who come to the area hunting - both for wild game and for brides. Jathan is somewhat shy but he has spotted Sarah. They are in a group that goes hiking and become well acquainted because she has an injury and he helps her.
As the story progresses, they have family and community issues that put roadblocks in their path. It looks like things might work out for them and then it all falls apart. Will their relationship end up in the memory jar? Will it be a good memory, or will it be a memory of heartbreak?
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DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of The Memory Jar from Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author, Tricia Goyer, and publisher, Zondervan, in order to render a review. Opinions expressed are solely mine and I was under no obligation to give a positive review.