A conclusion to The Prayer Jars trilogy, Wanda Brunstetter’s “The Healing Jar” neatly weaves together the characters and outcomes of the first two books while continuing and ultimately ending the saga. As such, it is best to read this series in order for a full understanding of the background and a richer reading experience. This is a good series for those who may be new to the Amish fiction genre because the Pennsylvania Dutch words are defined and described in context, but in such a way that it does not detract from the story. Amish customs are also explored. For instance, this book describes Amish funeral practices. Another interesting aspect of The Prayer Jars series is how it examines the relationships between Amish and English people who are from the same family and how they interact with one another.
Of the three books, this one was my favorite. Marketed as a romance, family drama also plays a leading role in “The Healing Jar.” This book is the most action-packed and emotional one in the series. Lenore Lapp is the main character, but Sara and Michelle also figure prominently. Brunstetter does a nice job of following each young woman’s life as the tale unfolds, intertwining them without disrupting the flow of the novel. The topic of marriage is a main focal point, and I appreciated that challenges and conflict are addressed rather than painting a rose-colored picture and leaving it at “happily ever after” because this made the story more true-to-life. This book has several surprises, and the suspense of how things would turn out continues to the last page. All three storylines conclude, and although I will miss the characters, I am glad that mysteries have been solved and secrets revealed. Following the story is a recipe for Philly pie and a set of discussion questions which are suitable for groups or individuals.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.