By: Wanda Brunstetter
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Publication Date: February 2019
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Review Date: May 1, 2019
With the release of her latest book in her Prayer Jar Series, The Forgiving Jar, Wanda Brunstetter delivers yet another heart-warming and insightful story.
Sara Murray never knew who her mother’s parents were. It was only after her mother passed that Sara learned she had grandparents and to compound such a surprise, they were Amish and living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. After sorting out the loss of her mother and the fact she was raised Amish, Sara realizes it’s time to venture to Pennsylvania to meet her relations. Little did she know there was a greater surprise awaiting her arrival. How was it possible an imposter had beat Sara to the punch of meeting her extended family and was living under their roof? Not only was she an imposter, but she was also someone who thought it was okay to pose as Sara’s grandparents’ flesh and blood.
Willis and Ruth Lapp were kind and simple people. They embraced life in their humble Amish community of Strasburg and were devout in the practice of their Amish ways. Although their daughter chose to step away from her Amish upbringing and venture out into the English community, they never lost hope that one day they would meet the unborn grandchild their daughter carried when she left. Even though their daughter was gone, the prospect of the day they hoped and prayed for to meet their granddaughter had been fulfilled. It was an affirmation that yet another prayer had been answered for Willis and Ruth Lapp. When the truth rises to the top, as it often does, imagine the Lapps’ surprise when they learn the young woman who was living with them wasn’t Sara at all. Rather she was Michelle Taylor and it would seem Michelle had also been in search of a family connection, even if they weren’t blood relations.
The joy of reading one of Wanda Brunstetter’s novels occurs within the first handful of pages. She takes her time to develop the lay of the story and as it gains momentum, it is the rich characters that complement the storyline. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Brunstetter’s work for quite some time and The Forgiving Jar doesn’t disappoint. Rather, it accentuates the talent further of this woman’s ability to carefully craft a beautiful story with fantastic nuances and subtleties throughout when it comes to the importance of faith. As I’ve said before, never have I had a sense when reading one of Ms. Brunstetter’s books that it is rife with Amish pulpit pounding. Rather, the story pulls you in because of Ms. Brunstetter’s fantastic ability to plant a seed of the importance of faith and family and allows her audience to watch it grow as the tender tale unfolds. Ms. Brunstetter has created characters capable of standing in their own light as much as they complement and contribute to the uniqueness of their fellow characters. I applaud Ms. Brunstetter for delivering another terrific read. I am a fan for the long run with this author and look forward to the next installation in her Prayer Jar Series.
Quill says: The Forgiving Jar is a wonderful depiction of how life consistently delivers the real story that swoops in to replace the fictitious film that played in the imagination.