The English and Amish world coalesce in Wanda Brunstetter’s “The Hope Jar”, book one of The Prayer Jars trilogy. A case of mistaken identity thrusts an English girl with a broken past into the peaceful life of the Amish and opens the door to a deception that only grows with each passing day. A thread of romance adds to the intrigue and speculation about what will happen and how things will ultimately turn out. The unique array of characters enriches the story, with both English and Amish alike who are unhappy with their current situations and the direction their lives are taking. These multiple viewpoints allow the reader to easily understand aspects of Amish life with which they may not be familiar, including words in Pennsylvania Dutch, as well as the particular challenges the Amish face in today’s society.
While this novel is set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the Amish communities of Berlin and Sugarcreek, Ohio are about an hour and a half from where I live, and I have always enjoyed visiting there. I’ve always been a country girl, and the simple life appeals to me. I love how “The Hope Jar” presents Amish life through the eyes of a young English woman because that makes it all the more relatable and comprehendible. Including the perspective of other characters, some of them Amish, really gives interesting insight and makes for a well-rounded, wholesome reading and learning experience for both adults and young adults.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.