The Memory Jar (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series #1)

( 73 )

Overview

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 ...
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The Memory Jar (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series #1)

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Overview

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?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310335108
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Series: Seven Brides for Seven BachelorsSeries Series , #1
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 123,714
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Tricia Goyer is the author of 35 books, including the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. She has won ACFW’s Carol Award twice, and is a Christy Award and Gold Medallion Award finalist. Tricia is currently writing three more Amish stories and One Year of Amish Peace. Tricia’s Amish novels have made the ECPA and USA Today Bestsellers list. Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas, where John works for FamilyLife. They have four children and are currently in the process of adopting two more. You can find out more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com or www.notquiteamishliving.com.
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Read an Excerpt

The Memory Jar

Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors
By Tricia Goyer

Zondervan

Copyright © 2012 Tricia Goyer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-33510-8


Chapter One

Two years later

With one motion, Sarah Shelter pulled her apron over her head. The garment smelled of fresh-baked bread, ham, and onions from the French onion soup she'd put on to simmer before leaving the West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery. Her Englisch friend told her once that the way to a man's heart was through his stomach. If that were the case, Sarah should have been married off years ago. She'd cooked for plenty of Amish bachelors, every year befriending the thirty or so men who came to Montana for a season. Problem was, their eyes were more on the wild game that filled the hills than on finding a wife. Typically, girls waiting back home had already captured their hearts. The bachelors appreciated Sarah all right—to fill their stomachs until their western adventure came to an end and they returned to their farms, their families, and their waiting brides.

Tossing the apron into a wicker basket filled with tomorrow's wash, Sarah moved to her bedroom window and opened it. Warm, afternoon air that smelled of sunshine and pine wafted in. She paused, staring up at the trees and the green pasture beyond, but mostly at the large mountain that rose in the distance. Eve Peachy had come into the store earlier to tell Sarah they'd been invited to hike Robinson Mountain. Sarah had laughed, thinking it was a joke, until Eve announced it was a bachelor who'd planned the outing.

"Amos is planning it yet," Eve had mentioned with a twinkle of her eye. Though not the most handsome bachelor, Amos had an outgoing, playful side. Eve knew if anyone could get Sarah to put on hiking boots to climb a mountain, it would be Amos.

Sarah placed a hand over her heart—which danced a double beat at the mere mention of Amos's name—and smiled. She supposed it was time to hike the mountain. Her older brothers had both hiked it, even her father and mother had. Spring had brought plenty of sunshine and had already cleared the snow from the mountain trails. She had no excuse really. And maybe ... maybe she'd even get a chance to get to know Amos a bit better.

She removed her kapp, placing it on her bed. She'd bathe early and spend the evening quilting on the porch. She never liked the sticky feeling that spending all morning baking at the store brought about. More than that, if one of the bachelors happened to stop for a visit, she'd look proper.

Sarah moved to her dresser and stopped short. Two large jars— previously used for pickles— sat there, filled with all types of curious things. Pretty rocks, old pennies, a rusty nail, and a hand-carved whistle, each with a memory attached. But the third jar ... she rested a hand on her hip. Its contents had been spilled out and the jar itself was gone. She picked up the white rock that had been dumped with the other items and fingered it. Then she set it back down.

She balled her fist. A rush of anger tightened her shoulders. How could someone treat her things so carelessly?

Stomping out her bedroom door through the living room, Sarah let out a shout. "Andy!"

Hearing his name, her twelve-year-old brother rose from where he'd been sitting on the front porch and darted into the woods. Through the open front door, Sarah spotted what she'd been looking for. Her jar. It sat there covered with what looked like tin foil and ...

Sarah stepped forward. A snake was inside! Her brother had dumped out her things to keep an ugly ole brown garter snake?

She picked up the jar, crumpled the foil, and slipped her hand inside the jar.

"Well, I'll be." The man's voice caused Sarah to start, and she nearly dropped the jar.

There, striding up the wooded path leading from the road, was Amos Byler with another of the bachelors by his side.

Sarah looked at the jar in her hand and, with a quick grip of her fingers and a flip of her wrist, tossed the snake into the yard. It bounced slightly and then slithered away into the tall grass.

The two men stood staring. Amos ran a hand down his smooth face.

Then she remembered. My kapp. Sarah placed a hand on top of her head. The silkiness of her blonde hair felt foreign. Since a small girl, she'd worn a kapp by day and a sleeping kerchief at night.

"I was 'bout to change," she explained. "And then I noticed my memory jar was missing."

Amos cocked an eyebrow as he nodded. A hint of a smile spread on the other man's face.

"My dat's not here, if that's who yer looking for, and I best get inside." She clutched the glass jar to her chest and hurried to the front door. The wooden planks of the porch squeaked under her feet, and a blue jay twittered from the top of the porch railing, as if chiding Sarah for her improper presentation.

"Before you go!" Amos called.

She paused and turned, heat rising to her cheeks.

"We didn't come fer yer dat. We came to see you, Sarah. We're hiking up Robinson Mountain next Saturday—all the way to the top. Care to come?"

"Ja, sounds fun," she called over her shoulder, and hurried inside, her knees trembling. She rushed to her room. Good thing no one else was around to witness that. She hoped no one would find out, especially Mem. Sarah's mother spoke quietly, but her words had impact. Sarah grabbed up her clean clothes and hurried into the indoor bathroom.

Would Amos tell?

She had a feeling he wouldn't. He seemed too kindly for that. But that other man. What was his name? Jathan. Yes, that was it. He stood at least six inches taller than Amos and his shoulders appeared twice as wide. He'd been smiling, and his eyes twinkled as if he enjoyed seeing her embarrassment.

As she unpinned her sleeve, Sarah decided right then she didn't like Jathan one bit ...

* * *

The cabin wasn't much more than four bunks, but it had enough room in one corner for a small kitchen with a wood-burning cookstove and a handmade table with two chairs. Jathan Schrock had straightened it up some when he first arrived. His guess was that the guys who'd most recently stayed there hadn't tidied up much. Nor the group of guys before that.

He supposed the accommodations weren't what beckoned most bachelors to the West Kootenai. It was the promise of high mountains, endless forests, and abundant game that called to the outdoorsmen.

"A haven for single Amish men." Mem had read about the bachelors' cabins in The Budget. Sawmill and carpenter jobs were aplenty in the West Kootenai. Wouldn't Jathan like to go to try his hand at hunting too?

Jathan was excited to come face to face with elk, mule deer, and moose. But he also wanted time to get away and think about his future. He'd snuck two books on running a small business into his suitcase and had been reading them late into the night. Someday, he wanted his own retail shop—he liked that idea much more than working at a mill or factory. He liked people too—finding out about their lives, meeting their needs. Jathan had worked one summer in his uncle's cheese factory as a salesman, and he'd been hooked. The idea of offering people something they valued while also providing for a family appealed to him. He could see himself doing that rather than working in the garage-door factory like most of his friends did.

Being in Montana wasn't just about what he came for— but what he ran from. He'd be in the door factory this very moment if he hadn't spent his savings on a suitcase and a train ticket out west. And although finding a wife wasn't one of his motives, he'd thought more about having one here than he ever had elsewhere.

Thought more about her—Sarah Shelter.

Yet she hadn't paid him any mind, except to offer another cup of coffee at the West Kootenai store. She'd also scowled his direction when she'd been caught this afternoon without a kapp. But that didn't count as romance, right?

Jathan got the cookstove going. After being here two months and missing some of his favorite dishes, he'd decided to cook his own dinner tonight and had stopped by the store for supplies.

The food at the West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery was good, but his favorite part was watching Sarah work. He liked the open kitchen that was visible from the dining room. Liked her broad smile as she kneaded bread dough or whipped up batter for cakes. He especially liked the way she chatted with the customers as they entered.

He'd learned a lot about Sarah by her conversations with others. She had a married brother and three married sisters; one older brother, Jonathan, who wasn't married yet; and younger siblings too. She liked baking more than cooking and liked cakes and cupcakes best of all.

What Jathan didn't know was why there was always a hint of sadness in her eyes. Something pained her, and he wished he knew her well enough to ask what it was.

Sarah.

The memory of her blonde hair glimmering in the sunlight as she stood on her front porch today caused his neck to grow warm. He chuckled under his breath, remembering how she'd picked up that snake and flicked it into the yard as if it were a twig. He couldn't think of one woman he knew back in Ohio who'd do that.

Jathan opened the front door, letting in a cool breeze, and glanced down the walking path that led to the main road, and beyond that, Sarah's place. Maybe he'd get a chance to talk to her before another two months passed.

His stomach growled, and he grabbed the paper sack he'd brought home from the store. First out was a cooking pot. Jathan hadn't been surprised that there wasn't one to be found in the cupboards of the cabin. Instead of cooking pots, he'd found coils of rope, a knife sharpener, and bullets.

He wiped down the countertop, and then chopped up an onion, carrots, and potatoes. With that done, Jathan melted shortening in the pot on the stove and added boneless beef cubes. When they were browned, he tossed the vegetables into the pot and added water, salt, and a tablespoon of sugar. Then he pulled a few more items from his grocery bag: Worcestershire sauce, paprika, allspice, clove. A dash here, a splash there, and within a few minutes, the room smelled like his mother's kitchen back home rather than sweaty socks and gun oil as it had before.

He pulled out one of his books on small business ownership, writing notes in the margins as the stew simmered.

An hour later, just as he'd tested to see if the stew was done, a pounding of footsteps sounded on the front porch—Amos stomping mud off his boots. Jathan's eyes widened. Would Amos think any less of him for his ability to cook? Tension tightened Jathan's gut.

Amos entered through the front door and stopped in his tracks. He looked over at a bunk and then crouched down and peered under it. "Okay, where is she?"

"Who?"

"The woman. Someone's been cookin' in here. It smells amazing." Amos chuckled.

Jathan shrugged. "Nothin' special. Jest something I cooked up." He took out two clean bowls and ladled up the stew.

Amos grabbed a spoon, sank onto a lower bunk, and dug in. "Ja, this is really gut," he said between bites. "You should give the recipe to Sarah at the West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery."

"No." The word shot from Jathan's mouth. He took a bite from the stew but was suddenly no longer as hungry. He wanted to talk to Sarah—get to know her better—but not in that way. Wait until he brought in the prize elk. Then he'd make a proper introduction.

"Don't go jabbering about things unknown to you," Jathan said. "Have another bowl, but don't eat yerself full. I'd like to head over to the store later fer some cake."

"A piece of Sarah's cake no doubt?" Amos cocked an eyebrow. "It wonders me why you haven't asked her to go on a walk." He combed his fingers through his dark hair and straight bangs. "From the way you keep glancing her direction while she works, well, yer interest is clear. Why don't you ask her to walk down to the lake or something? Jest to be friendly."

"Wonnernaus. There's no reason really." Jathan narrowed his gaze as if trying to convince Amos it really was none of his business.

The fact was, he did want to get to know Sarah, but what did he have to offer if she showed her affection back—talk of a door factory job waiting for him? No, he had to figure out some business plans first.

Most people thought he'd come to Montana for the hunting, and while he enjoyed that, Jathan had another reason. He was running—running from being the youngest son who, no matter how hard he tried, couldn't live up to his brothers, who lived the perfect Amish lives and always obeyed Dat, always made Dat proud.

Amos served himself another bowl. "This really is gut stew."

Jathan finished his stew and stood. He placed his bowl on the counter and then stuffed his hands into his pockets.

"Are you sure you made it?" Amos asked.

"No, yer guess was right the first time. There's an Amish woman here. I stuffed her into my pillow."

Amos laughed and then placed his dirty bowl on the counter. "Hit the spot."

Amos eyed the pot. "But it looks like there will be enough for breakfast afore we go out shooting in the morning."

"Ja, leftovers are always better." Jathan tried to hide his disappointment. As much as he looked forward to target practice, doing so would mean he'd miss sitting in the restaurant and saying hello to Sarah Shelter.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer Copyright © 2012 by Tricia Goyer. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(8)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2013

    I was enamored with this book from the start. Can you just imagi

    I was enamored with this book from the start. Can you just imagine the commotion that these bachelors raise every spring when they arrive in this tiny community? I can just picture all those sweet young girls whispering and giggling together as they check out this year’s new crop of eligible men. It just makes me smile thinking about it.


    Since this is a Tricia Goyer book there are a couple of different things going on that she has masterfully woven together to create a satisfying story. Both of our main characters have back stories that affect the budding relationship between the two of them. Sarah can’t seem to move past the loss of her best friend and Jathan has family obligations that he just can’t find peace about.
    One of my favorite aspects of this story is when the two of them have conflict they actually talk about what is bothering them. Many authors use misunderstandings to push the story along. I prefer Tricia’s approach to deepening the storyline and the characters themselves. By the end of the novel both Jathan and Sarah have matured in their walk of faith and in their relationships with others.


    Let me give you a little warning . . . this book is going to make you hungry! Hungry for the delicious sounding cupcakes that Sarah is famous for and hungry for the next book in the series. The Promise Box is the title of book two and is scheduled to come out in May 2013. I will definitely be looking forward to it.

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Memory Jar is more than a sweet romance. Sarah and Jathan ju

    The Memory Jar is more than a sweet romance. Sarah and Jathan juggle the desires of family and community, their personal dreams, and following God's will. And Sarah also has important lessons to live about treasuring the past instead of dwelling in the past. Tricia Goyer's writing, as always, is engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    FIRST, I have to say that, The Memory Jar is my favorite among

    FIRST, I have to say that, The Memory Jar is my favorite among Tricia Goyer's Amish books, and I can not wait for the second book in the series to be released.

    The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer is a must read before we head into the holiday seasons. We need the reminder that everyone has their own opinions, their own dreams, their own way of doing things, and that is okay.

    I enjoyed following twenty-four-year-old Sarah Shelter as she deals with death and to understand why death happens. Also Sarah's understanding for what God has instore for her life ahead as she experiences life, love, testing of faith, and trust. More importantly is why the memory jar is or jars are so important to Sarah and the rule it plays through out the book.

    The book starts out in the town of West Kootenai, Montana, where for the last ten years Sarah Shelter and her family have lived, they moved from Kentucky. When Sarah was twenty-two years old, a horrible accident happens to Patty Litwiller, Sarah's best friend. We go through the book with Sarah, who is twenty-four, as she handles death and the understand of why death happens. We also learn what God has instore for her life ahead.

    And who is with Sarah when she gets hurt and then lost on a hiking trip up Robinson Mountain?
    Why is Sarah going to Ohio?

    I received this book free from Tricia Goyer and Zondervan in return for an honest review of the book and of my own opinion. I'm was also asked to share the book.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2012

    This story begins with a sad accident. At first, I though

    This story begins with a sad accident. At first, I thought the friendship between Sarah Shelter and Patty was too sweet; Sarah is trying to remember the color of Patty’s eyes. But then – as I read further, their friendship becomes encouraging, fun, insightful, and loyal. Reading the flashbacks of their experiences together since Sarah was ten - really made the two friends especially likeable for me. I like to read about the Amish, but I also like that Sarah and Patty express unconventional hopes and talents that make them seem more than they are…more than the Amish community would expect them to be. I loved that Sarah’s way to a man’s heart is through his stomach with her delicious baking. Baking is so popular now; who doesn’t love a great cupcake? Jathan’s letters home helped me to understand his character better.
    The idea of keeping a memory jar is so appealing. Today, we have hundreds of pictures saved, hundreds of emails, texts, songs, etc… Having a memory jar with a physical object that invokes a memory would be so much more special. The night that Sarah and Jathan spend together is chastely romantic. I love Patty’s advice that the one thing that doesn’t belong in our memory jars is regret.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    My review:
    We join the Amish community in Minnesota, again, there are familiar friends and faces here. Annie's store is a big part of this story, as it was in Tricia's other books. Sarah Shelter is not living her life to the fullest, as her friend Patty would want, instead she hides herself away in the kitchen at Annie's cooking and baking. Dreaming her dreams of owning a bakery, but not doing anything to fulfill those dreams, when a hike up Robinson Mountain changes that, separated from her friends, due to spraining her ankle, Sarah begins to fear they have left her, and she starts down the mountain taking a different trail, however soon she is lost, but Jathan, one of the many bachelors who come to Minnesota to hunt, finds her and stays with her. Realizing that she is attracted to him, they spend much of the night talking waiting for daylight to begin their trip down the mountain. What started on the mountain, blossoms fast, but a sudden illness calls Jathan back home to Berlin Ohio. Will Sarah, follow him and fulfill both of their dreams, or will the past keep her frozen in time?
    I enjoyed this book greatly, it was different from most Amish books, where the Ordnung is the main topic of the book. This book was about two people finding happiness and themselves. It was a good book, with a good story! 4 stars 342 pages US $14.99
    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2014

    The Memory Jar (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors, #1)  by Tricia

    The Memory Jar (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors, #1) 
    by Tricia Goyer (Goodreads Author) 
    6448715
    Janie R. Freeman's review Jun 25, 14  ·  edit
    5 of 5 stars
    bookshelves: amish-books 
    Read from June 23 to 25, 2014








    I really enjoyed reading this story- The Memory Jar! One of the main character's philosophy of life about the way she thinks of those she loves, it really impressed me. I tend to agree with her.
    Some paragraphs from the book of the way she expresses this, are as follows: "It's important to make special memories,to give joy for a moment,because you never know when someone will be gone. The moments, they matter, and you want to make someone as special as possible. And it's those memories we'll always carry with us. It's the things we appreciate and treasure that stays on our minds and hearts even after they're gone."
    Over all, this is a an inspirational book about looking at life, and of forgiving oneself, of healing, and loving, and looking into our faith to assist us in mo

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 24, 2013

    This review should not surprise anyone who knows how much I rave

    This review should not surprise anyone who knows how much I rave about Amish fiction, and this book is no exception to the rule. When I say that this book is a fantastic, clean, Christian romance, you can know that I am sincere. No profanity, no sex, and really no preachiness either. All you will find is everything that makes the Amish people wonderful and hard-working and a sweet romance to boot.

    I love the fact that this book shows how things have been changing in some Amish communities. Even our heroine, Sarah, sees that. And Jathan hopes that Sarah will be the one who can help him change. This book celebrates the things that make the Amish people so endearing--baking, woodworking, etc. And whenever they don't understand, they turn to God for direction. Their faith is simple but strong.

    The messages of this book are universal. Follow your dreams no matter what. When a loved one dies, you cannot stop living. You have to face your past, or you will not be able to move on with your life. You will find these messages and more--something for everyone. Oh, and there are a couple of twists along the way, so don't think you have it all figured out!

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Wonderful story. Could not put it down the first time I read it.

    Wonderful story. Could not put it down the first time I read it. Well written with a great story line.  A MUST read!!!!

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  • Posted July 16, 2013

    I do believe this to be the first Amish book I have read and I l

    I do believe this to be the first Amish book I have read and I loved it!




    This is the story of Sarah Shelter. Having lost her best friend, Patty, Sarah struggles to allow herself to move on. Having suffered loss of a close loved one, I completely understand. Sarah lives in West Kootenai, Montana where young Amish men come in the spring to live for at least 6 months so they can gain resident status for the hunting season. Each year these "bachelors" often leave with a bride.




    For five years, Sarah has allowed love to pass her by, but this year is different. She has some stirrings for Amos not even paying attention to Jathan Schrock. Then, one day a group of friends goes on a hike and life will never be the same!




    Sarah keeps a jar with little trinkets she has gathered throughout her life. These serve to remind her of the many memories of life. I love how this habit helps her through her life's decisions and helps her as her life progresses to new adventures. Sarah's dream is to own her own bakery. This dream is a struggle as she likes the 'fancy' things, like decorated cupcakes. So different from the 'simple' things of the Amish life.




    Jathan comes from a place where his life has been planned out for him. He is to return to work in the local factory to help take care of his parents. We come to find out that he, too, has an interest in helping with his mom's bakery! Given this hard choice, what would you do? Follow your heart and passion? Or take the job for its security?




    You will have to read this great book to find out how it works out in the end. But, suffice to say, that Lord does work in mysterious ways and what we think we want may not be exactly how it works out. Sometimes exciting and new things seem like a good idea and seems like it is the perfect solution to please everyone may or may not work out that way! Change is good, but is it for everyone?




    Also, note that you just never know how the people you meet along the way will affect your life's outcome. The great lesson is to trust in the Lord and follow his guidance. Which brings me to the quote I'd like to share: "...the more Sarah thought about the word faith, the more she realized it was all about looking ahead." (pg 240) "...we jest need to keep walking in the direction God pointed us last, and if we keep looking fer him and waiting on him, God will let us know when to make a change of direction." (pg 136)




    Do you trust in the Lord to guide you? Enough to follow him? How do you remember your memories? Do you have a jar with a collection of all kinds of things?






    Disclosure: As part of the Tricia Goyer 2013Fiction Launch Team, I did receive a free copy of this book; however I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are completely my own!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    The Memory Jar is a beautiful story of blossoming love and the h

    The Memory Jar is a beautiful story of blossoming love and the healing of past hurts. Although both main characters are strong Christians, they must learn to truly trust that God has their best interests at heart.

    Sarah Shelter must heal from the hurt in her heart caused by the tragic death of her best friend, Patty. It seems that Sarah's life ground to a halt when Patty's ended. She throws herself into her baking and makes amazing cupcakes, but does not embrace life anymore.

    Jathan Schrock is a visitor to her community, a bachelor who has come to hunt and sort out the mixed emotions he has toward his family. The weight of others' expectations weighs heavily on him and as he tries to determine what path to follow, he finds himself falling for Sarah.

    Will Sarah and Jathan be able to find a path to walk together? How will other people's expectations and perceptions of them color their relationship? Tricia Goyer writes a wonderful story, with flashbacks to conversations that Sarah and Patty had throughout their lives. I am looking forward to reading the second book of the series.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    Just like with Tricia's other books that I have read she pulls y

    Just like with Tricia's other books that I have read she pulls you in from page one. Tricia has a way of making you feel as if you are a part of the story.  The whole idea of a memory jar is a nice thing and I think everyone should have one. I think this was a good way for Sarah to keep her friend's memories with her. I enjoyed watching Sarah and Jathan becoming friends and making plans for a bakery. It was kind of interesting to read about how all the young men come to Montana as a bachelor and go home with a bride.  I also think this book has many lessons in it. I am definately looking forward to the Promise Box. I give this book five stars. 

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  • Posted March 16, 2013

    Tricia you had me hooked before the first chapter ended. The Me

    Tricia you had me hooked before the first chapter ended. The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer was a very enjoyable book. I loved the whole idea of memory jars and thought it made this book all the more special in light of Sarah having lost her best friend. I liked how the reader is introduced to
    Sarah and her best friend, Patty as children and then are allowed inside their heads to understand them as people. Jathan was an Amish "knight in shining armor" and Sarah soon sees him in that role.
    The memory jar is about friendship, love, family and loyalty. I will be watching for the next books in the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers series. Tricia gets a high 5 for The Memory Jar.


    I received this book from Net Galley and Zondervan for my honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2013

    A great book of all ages - This is a wholesome book showing hope

    A great book of all ages - This is a wholesome book showing hope, courage and faith. It has a lot of subtle message without "preaching" to the reader.

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  • Posted November 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sarah Shelter's friend had drowned several years before but she


    Sarah Shelter's friend had drowned several years before but she still misses her so much. Patty had been her best friend and had taught her many things including keeping a "Memory Jar". She also lost Michael, Parry's brother, Sarah had a crush on him, but after loosing so much their mother could not stay in Montana so she moved away.¿

    After she had lost her best friends she begin to throw herself into anything that would take her mind off them. She really loved to bake and cupcakes were her favorite. She also met a new man that she begain to like very much, but would she really fall for Amos, and he really didn't show a lot of interest in her. She also had become friend with a young man that had moved there from Ohio so Jathan, Amos and Sarah all became friends and desided to that a hike in the mountains. This trail would take them right past the cabin where Patty and Michael had lived and brough back too many memories. She was not really paying attention to where she was walking and fell and sprang her ankle, so she decided to sit there and wait while the men hiked on up. It started to get dark and Sarah was afraid that her friend had forgotten her so she started limping back down the trail toward home. But takes a differnet trail and it came to a dead end. Sarah decided to wait there until morning unless a bear or another animal found her. She was afraid but what else could she do?

    Jathan got called back to Ohio to work in the bakery as his dad had, had a stroke, but he really hated to bake. Then the thought occured to call Sarah and see if she would move to Ohio and work in the bakery. She loved this idea and after she got into the business they really had more baking than she could handle. Everyone loved her baked good. She was really undecided wheather to stay in Ohio or go back home, that is when she remember the "Memory Jar" her friend had told her about many years ago.

    I always love to read anything that Tracy writes and she outdid herself with this one. Thanks so much to Zondervan Publishing for sending me this book to review.

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2012

    This Gifted Author Weaves a Memorable Tale! It's Sarah's 10th b

    This Gifted Author Weaves a Memorable Tale!

    It's Sarah's 10th birthday and she had "only the forest floor to occupy her" in the Amish community of West Kootenai, Montana. "Pine needles, a clump of moss, a golden leaf" were placed into an old jelly jar found in her mem's cupboard. "A pinecone would be a good find for her collection." As Sarah searched for the perfect pinecone, another young Amish girl came bounding through the woods! A freespirted child, Patty discovered beauty and excitement in every situation, and her adventurous nature was contagious. Sarah offered to get another jar for them to collect wonderful things together. These flashbacks throughout the book build upon Sarah's friendship with Patty, enhancing the story and the significance of the contents of the memory jars Sarah holds so close to her heart.

    Sarah is 24 years old, single, and with a fear of commitment. Two years earlier a boating accident claimed the friend who meant everything to her. Her grief and guilt have consumed her, leaving her alone, with no one to share her dreams. Sarah's painful memories threaten her ability to move forward. She continues to dream about a future husband and family, and owning a bakery where she can create "fancy" cupcakes. Her passion for baking and following God's will for her life spills over to others as she cooks and bakes with the Englisch at West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery, putting smiles on the faces of those she encounters. Sarah has an established reputation for her delicious cupcakes!

    Jathan Shrock, tall, handsome, and with obstacles to overcome, moved to West Kootenai to work and establish residency in order to hunt. Family expectations and obligations have overwhelmed Jathan, and his inner struggles regarding his life's dream need to be explored away from the constant demands of his family. Guilt and responsibilities overcome him as he seeks God's direction in his life. Jathan doesn't fit the mold that his father and brothers have carved for him, and leaving Berlin Ohio behind for a time is his only solace. Jathan's dream is for a home and family of his own, and to own his own business, possibly his mother's bakery. He has a good business sense and is accomplished in the kitchen, having helped his mem throughout the years.

    In West Kootenai it is tradition to "climb the mountains." Sarah had reached a crossroad in her life and felt she was ready for the challenge. Sarah, two Amish girlfriends, Jathan and his Amish friend set out for the day's hike together. The physical challenges were numerous, and not far from the mountaintop Sarah twisted her ankle. While she remained behind the others forged ahead to the summit. Thinking that her friends had forgotten her, Sarah started her way down the mountain alone, but took the wrong trail and became lost. When the others realized they had taken a different path down the mountain and hadn't found Sarah, Jathan climbed back up to look for her. He found signs of Sarah's trail down the mountainside, and eventually discovered her shortly before nightfall. As they were forced to spend a long and cold night on the side of the mountain Jathan foraged for dry wood and started a fire to keep them warm. As the night wore on Sarah opened up to Jathan, and talked about her friend, Patty, and her dreams of owning a bakery. Jathan shared his visions of God's splendor on the mountain. He is like a balm to Sarah, but he wasn't yet prepared to share his own burdens. As dawn began to break Jathan carried Sarah back to the mountain trail and reached the valley below as rescuers were arriving.

    As the days progressed Jathan and Sarah's attraction and friendship developed further, and they discussed a future business together in Jathan's mem's bakery in Ohio. Unfortunately Jathan receives news that his father has had a stroke and he is needed at home. He leaves immediately, and a confused Sarah is left to wonder what will become of their friendship. Jathan realizes that Sarah could be a help in the bakery, and asks her to come to Berlin, Ohio. Sarah's aunt lives in Berlin, and as she prepares to take her leave her mother presents her with Patty's memory jar, that she had been keeping for such a time as this. Sarah takes one of her own memory jars along with Patty's to Ohio, and as she takes time to examine the contents of Patty's memory jar the healing process begins. New challenges confront Sarah as she begins her life in Ohio, but feeling God's presence fills her spirit.

    The Memory Jar is filled with descriptive elements. The author paints vivid images of the areas surrounding both West Kootenai, Montana, and Berlin, Ohio. This is a carefully thought out story of the vulnerabilities and internal struggles of the main characters in this book. It is an emotional journey through the lives of two people whose struggles to overcome the past and present are presented realistically and in a heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking manner. The main characters in "The Memory Jar" are endearing, believable, and have depth. The plot is well developed, moves along at a wonderful pace, and raises questions throughout the story that cause the reader think more deeply about life and our human frailties. I loved this book, and will be reading it again. The story evoked emotions that had me smiling, laughing, crying, and feeling spiritually uplifted. I highly recommend this beautifully woven tale to those who love Amish Christian fiction.

    I was given a copy of this book by Zondervan for the express purpose of my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Tricia Goyer in her new book, ¿The Memory Jar¿ Book One in the S

    Tricia Goyer in her new book, “The Memory Jar” Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series published by Zondervan takes us into the life of Sarah Shelter.

    From the back cover: For five years, love has passed her up. For one moment, can she put down her guard?

    Every year, a number of young Amish men descend on the cozy mountain 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 saves 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. Until she meets Jathan Schrock.

    Can this kind and gentle man break down her walls, and can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

    Tricia Goyer has an attention to details that help draw you into the story as well, of course, as her marvelous characters. Ms. Goyer lets you feel Sarah’s heartbreak and then her hope coming alive when she meets Jathan. Both Sarah and Jathan are presented in such a real manner that you feel as though they are friends of yours and when the book eventually ends you are sorry to see them go. “The Memory Jar is an exciting book with the romance taking top priority as each of them deals with their individual issues. ”The Memory Jar” deals with themes of forgiveness and restoration as only God can produce. Ms. Goyer has done it again. I liked this book a lot. I am so looking forward to book two in this series.

    Win an Amish Kindle Gift Pack from @TriciaGoyer and RSVP for her “Memory Jar” Author Chat Party on 11/7

    Celebrate with Tricia by entering her Amish Kindle Gift Pack Giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook party on November 7th. (And be sure to catch the fun video trailer or try your hand at one of the simple, keepsake crafts Tricia has put together on her website.)


    One fortunate winners will receive:

    A brand new Kindle Fire
    Custom-made Memory Jar Kindle Cover
    Amish-made decorative items {Wall hanging, horse/buggy and Amish houses}
    The Memory Jar {Be swept away by this captivating series.}

    Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 6th. Winner will be announced at the “Memory Jar Author Chat Party on 11/7. Connect with Tricia for an evening of book chat, Amish trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

    So grab your copy of The Memory Jar and join Tricia on the evening of the November 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

    Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another great story by Tricia Goyer Sarah Shelter still misses

    Another great story by Tricia Goyer

    Sarah Shelter still misses her best friend several years after she drowned. Patty taught Sarah a lot about life, she is the one that got Sarah started on her first memory jar. Not only did she lose Patty, but after the drowning she lost Patty's brother, Michael, who she had a huge crush on. Patty's mother could not take living in Montana with so many memories so they moved.

    Sarah has had a hard time moving on with her life and throws herself into baking, mainly cupcakes. She has found a new man she thinks she'd like to spend the rest of her life with, Amos. Amos doesn't show her much interest, although he's friendly, he's not ready to see any one girl.

    Jathan has come to Montana from Berlin, OH to find himself, he is being forced into working in a factory so his dad and brothers can build furniture in their small shop. They need Jathan to bring in some steady money to help support the entire family. Jathan isn't interested in woodwork, he likes to bake and do bookwork.

    Sarah, Amos, Jathan and some others go on a hike in the mountains, the same mountain trail that leads to a cabin Patty and Sarah had found when they were young and it leads to the lake where Patty had drowned. Sarah twists her ankle and decides to wait while the rest of the group proceed. When it starts getting dark she's afraid they forgot about her and starts limping back down the trail. On the way she sees a different path and decides to take that, she soon comes to a dead end and it's too late to try to make it all the way back down so she decides to wait the night out there and prays a bear doesn't find her.

    Jathan is worried about Sarah and tells the rest of the group to go ahead on down the other side of the mountain and to send for help if he and Sarah don't meet them at the bottom. When Sarah is not where they left her, he sees her footprints and follows her trail, luckily he takes the same trail she did and finds her sitting on a log. They end up spending the night in the woods and getting to know each other. In the morning they wake up early and head on down, where they meet the rescuers heading up the mountain along with her parents.

    During Sarah's recovery Jathan helps her with her baking and they get to know one another better. They are soon talking about his mother's bakery back in Ohio and they are both having ideas of their own that seem to be about the same things, baking together and spending more time together so they can get to know even more about each other. When Jathan gets called home after his dad had a stroke and they aren't sure he'll even survive, things don't look too good for their future.

    When Jathan gets home and sees his dad, he can't talk, he feels even more like he's being forced into working at the factory. Not only that, Anna, his mother's friends daughter, thinks they will be married. The two mothers have talked about their marriage since they were little kids. Jathan talks to his dad, even though he can't answer, and tells him of his new plans, plans to bring Sarah to work in the bakery with his mom and his aunt. They will start selling cupcakes, he will do the books and he is not going to work at the factory.

    Sarah arrives in Berlin, goes to work at the bakery and soon business is booming. There is a problem though, the regular customers are no longer coming in because of the changes that have been made, suggestions made by Sarah. Jathan's mom and aunt voice their opinion and he finds himself firing Sarah immediately and going to work in the factory. It seems the mother that wanted her son to marry Sarah now wants nothing to do with her, not only that she doesn't want her son to have anything to do with her.

    Now Sarah has to figure out what she's going to do, she likes Ohio but can she stay there, should she go back to Montana to her family and how soon does she have to make a decision.

    Tricia does a wonderful job of keeping you interested in this story, she tugs at your heartstrings for sure. There are ups and downs, just like life has, and what a wonderful friend Sarah had in Patty and it's amazing the things she taught Sarah about life in their young lives that helped her later on. The idea of a memory jar is a beautiful idea and the things Patty says it can teach you. Tricia gives you a lot of things to think about are plentiful.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 3, 2012

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    Posted October 31, 2012

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    Posted October 24, 2012

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