Sometimes sequels struggle to continue the storyline and keep the reader interested, but that is not the case with Wanda Brunstetter’s “The Forgiving Jar”. Picking up where “The Hope Jar” left off, book two in The Prayer Jars series focuses mainly on Sara Murray, although Michelle’s story continues to unfold as well. The two young women clash when they both begin living with Sara’s grandparents because of Michelle’s former deceit. Sara’s character was not very genial for a large portion of the book, and while I did not like her attitude, the author does a good job of explaining it, and the feelings that Sara experiences are ones that everyone can relate to in some form or another. This is contrasted with Michelle, who has become a Christian and is turning her life around. It did not seem as though there would be a resolution by the end of the novel, but thankfully things came together near the end.
“The Forgiving Jar” is a thought-provoking novel that truly engages the reader. Being given the advantage of viewing situations from both Sara’s and Michelle’s point of view adds depth to the reading experience and challenges how readers themselves respond to each scenario. Brunstetter adroitly incorporates Pennsylvania Dutch words into the dialogue while also defining them so that there is no confusion. Learning about how contemporary Amish folks have incorporated some aspects of modern living into their lifestyles while still remaining separate from the modern world is fascinating. Likewise, Sara’s and Michelle’s characters illustrate two different responses to the simple life, both coming from a place of past hurt. This is an excellent novel for those who have read book one and who enjoy a wholesome story full of redemption and healing from the past.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.