The Forgiving Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter has us returning to Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Sara Murray is returning to her grandparent’s farm for the Thanksgiving holiday. The dentist she worked for recently retired and Sara would like to relocate to Strasburg to be closer to her grandparents. She is hoping she can live with them while looking for a job and apartment. When Sara arrived at the Lapp farm for the first time, she was shocked to find a woman impersonating her. Sara has no tolerance for people who lie, deceive and keep secrets since she learned of her mother’s secrets. When Sara arrives at the farm, she is surprised to see Michelle Taylor, the imposter, is once again living with Willis and Mary Ruth Lapp. Her grandparents tell Sara that Michelle returned to explain her actions and apologized to them. They have forgiven Michelle and invited her to live with them. Sara does not understand how they can easily forgive Michelle’s deception. Sara moves into the farmhouse and struggles to live with Michelle. She meets Brad Fuller, a theological student, when he visits at Christmas who had met Michelle the previous summer. Sara is drawn to Brad and she can tell he is attracted to her. However, Brad seems to keep his distance which confuses Sara. One day Sara finds an old canning jar in the cellar filled with slips of paper. Each slip has a different Bible verse or inspirational message. These messages provide Sara with encouragement and hope. Can Sara find a way to overcome her mother’s deceptions as well as Michelle’s? Is forgiveness in Sara’s future? Come along for Sara’s journey in The Forgiving Jar.
The Forgiving Jar is the second book in The Prayer Jar series. While The Forgiving Jar could be read as a standalone, I suggest reading The Hope Jar first. It will provide you with Michelle’s complete story and help you understand her motivations. I thought The Forgiving Jar was well-written with gentle pacing. I did find the story to be a little slow in the middle. I was drawn into the story and wanted to find out what would happen with Sara and Michelle. Sara has a hard time grappling with the concept of forgiveness. Her mother kept secrets from her and then Michelle impersonated her. Sara has trust issues and does not understand how her grandparents can easily forgive Michelle for her deception. We get to see how the slips of paper in an old canning jar help Sara understand the importance of forgiveness and being a Christian. The slips in the canning jar were encouraging, inspirational, guiding and thought provoking. With Michelle and Sara living in the same household, it is rife with tension. Mary Ruth talks with Sara about the issue. After that, Mary Ruth prays and leaves the issue in God’s hands. There is romance in the story as Michelle and Ezekiel King draw closer to each other. One of my favorite phrases was “turn your cares into prayers.” I did have trouble with Sara. She has a giant chip on her shoulder plus she is extremely resentful of Michelle. As time goes by, Sara along with Michelle mature. I liked seeing the women evolve, learn from their mistakes and grow in their faith. The Healing Jar is the next book in The Prayer Jar series. The Forgiving Jar is a sweet, heartwarming story that will touch your heart.
Thank you for reading my review. I hope you have a blessed day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader