About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Monday, August 20, 2018

My Thoughts on The Hope Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter

As I began reading how a young woman allowed an older couple to believe that she was the granddaughter that they never knew existed I immediately judged Michelle Taylor. She was being deceitful and lying to them time after time and  and we all know that this is wrong! But as I continued to read I began to understand why she found it so hard to be honest with them. Michelle had been subjected to the abuse of her natural parents, forced to live with foster parents and then, she had suffered abuse from the man who was supposed to love her. All that she had ever known was hardship and neglect and suddenly, a fine and loving couple assumed that she was the child of a daughter who had run away from home and disappeared so many years ago and they were eager to accept her! Yes, Michelle was definitely wrong but I could begin to understand why she allowed her charade to continue as she pretended to be Sara Murphy!

This new book is the first book of a new series by Wanda E. Brunstetter and I like that she has used the characters of a young English woman and an older Amish couple to help readers better understand some of the beliefs and customs of the Amish people. Michelle is naturally curious about the Amish lifestyle and both Willis and Mary Ruth Lapp are happy to answer her questions. She also has the opportunity to question Ezekiel King, the young Amish man who finds her English lifestyle so fascinating. He is struggling to make his final decision to either join the Amish church or leave to live his life as an "Englisher". There are several other characters, both Amish and English, who play an important part of this story but my favorite "character" is actually a blue canning jar filled with slips of paper. Michelle finds it hidden in the Lapp barn and it contains the thoughts and prayers of someone who once struggled to make the right decision. These thoughts and prayers have a great influence on this young woman who is also struggling to do the right thing. Should she confess her deceit and hurt these people she has come to love or does she continue to pretend to be their long-lost granddaughter?

The Hope Jar is the first book in the The Prayer Jars series and I am anxious to see how Michelle Taylor and Sara Murphy's stories will continue. I feel that the Lapps have enough love for both a real granddaughter and the young woman who pretended to be their granddaughter so I will be eager to read more in the The Forgiving Jar, the second book in this series.

Wanda E. Brunstetter has written a book filled with deceit, lies and hopelessness but it is also full of understanding, compassion, forgiveness, faith and love. I recommend it to all who enjoy Christian fiction and stories that feature the Amish lifestyle.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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