The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer

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?

About the Author:
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.

My Review:
This book is not your average "boy meets girl, boy courts girl" Amish story.  This is a beautiful story of friendship that is more than the normal friendship, of hurt that seems unbearable, of family/religious expectations that seem suffocating and of what it takes to overcome all that's gone on before -- LOVE.  Along the way, there are twists and turns that seem insurmountable, but in the end God works all things together. 
I loved this book.  The Memory Jar is something I would have done (I have several "scrapbooks" from childhood, that are more like a memory jar than a real scrapbook).  It's a beautiful way to keep the memories of each day and the gifts God gives us.  Sarah has to overcome the chains that her memories have become... holding her in the past and keeping her from her dreams and future.  Jathan (love that name!) is not your normal Amish man with dreams of following in his Dat's footsteps... no, he loves to bake and create in the kitchen, but he must help provide for his family and work in the job his father has chosen for him... or does he?  Just goes to show that Amish life isn't as plain and simple as Englischer's imagine it is!
I would definitely recommend this beautiful story.  

Favorite Quotes from the Book:

"Her whole life she always pictured falling in love being full of nervous emotion, peaks of romance, and teh exitement of wondering if he loved her as much as she loved him.  But maybe love was simpler.  Maybe true love was finding someone you could talk to with ease, whose heart cared for the same things and whose dreams could meld with your own."

"Every day, you can choose to be part of God's creative process.  I'm not talking about making things. Rather I'm speaking of allowing God to form you.  We, God's people, are his greatest creation,  but it's easier to tend our gardens then our souls..... God has made you a unique design.  Never forget that.  Also know that God's made someone to be your fit, to see your specialness as I do."

Buy a copy here:
Make your own Memory Jar, instructions here:

Check out the video trailer: 

Thank you so much "Litfuse Publishing group" for choosing me to be a reviewer of this book!