“The Memory Jar” by Tricia Goyer

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?
I really liked this story!   Many Amish books are about issues that are specific to Amish life.  The Memory Jar, however, is a book that anyone can relate to.  Sarah and her chosen bachelor want to be true to their dreams, but they fear disappointing their community.  Sarah also carries some painful baggage from her past, and coming to terms with that is difficult.  Being true to the calling God has given us and forgiving ourselves for our own mistakes are both issues that every one of us faces.
While it sounds as if this is a weighty, heavy book, Sarah’s adventurous spirit and love of beauty relaxes the tension in this story.  My final takeaway feeling was one of bright color and happiness.  I love her positive outlook and cheery plans for the future.
This was also my first experience reading about the Amish community of West Kootenai.  I grew up near the super conservative community of Belleville, Pennsylvania, and the differences between these two were stark.  I enjoyed reading about an Amish community that was so obviously different from those I know – it was both informative and fun.
I haven’t read a Goyer book yet that isn’t a great read and she continues that trend in The Memory Jar – a great coming-of-age story with a fun Amish twist.  I’m happy to put this book firmly in place on my bookshelf!
To read other reviews on this bloggy tour, click here.  You can purchase The Memory Jar here.
Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
Find out more about Tricia at http://triciagoyer.com.
I received a free copy of The Memory Jar from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
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