The Hope Jar by Wanda Brunstetter – Book Review, Preview

Posted August 14, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways /

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The Hope Jar by Wanda Brunstetter - Book Review, Preview

My sisters and I didn’t particularly care for Andrea. She was boastful and annoying. There were not, however, many girls our age in the neighborhood and for some reason, she liked to hang out with us. She and I were both in second grade at the time, if my memory serves me well.

That summer, my sisters and I came up with a plan. Looking back now, I am terribly ashamed. Andrea, if you are out there, I’m so sorry we were mean. Yeah. So my sisters both got short haircuts. The younger one’s hair was short enough we decided she looked like a boy. She and my older sister pretended they were my cousins, the younger one being George (a family nickname and inside joke.)

You know, I honestly don’t recall if it was even an effective ruse. I know Andrea told us we were lying but we were adamant. I do remember the guilt. And I think she kept hanging around anyway. Hmm.

The Hope Jar by Wanda Brunstetter – Book Review, Preview

The Hope Jar

by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Series: The Prayer Jars #1
Series Rating:
Published by Shiloh Run Press
Publication Date August 1, 2018
Genres: Amish Fiction
Setting: Pennsylvania Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Pages: 320


A Brand-New Series from New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Purchase Links

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Michelle, through a strange set of circumstances, found herself pretending to be someone she wasn’t. In some ways, it helped her out of a very rough situation, yet it caused her no end of guilt.

The Hope Jar had a very interesting premise – a girl caught up in a snowball of events that afforded her a place to escape her abusive boyfriend. A safe haven where she was loved and cared for. There were some interesting plot elements. I have heard this author’s name for quite some time but had never read any of her books before this. I was intrigued.

Fear is a powerful motivator, whether it is fear of being hurt or of hurting others. I understood Michelle’s motivations for behaving as she did. Ezekiel, on the other hand, seemed very selfish, shallow and immature. I was not a fan of his.

The storytelling was a little dry. The dialog seemed unnatural in parts and it seemed like there was so much explaining of the Amish way of life in the conversations. Yes, I understand that would have been necessary – it was more the execution that was tedious.

I was also disappointed that the consequences of the lies Michelle and Ezekiel told were as insignificant as they were. Not that I wanted anything terrible to happen to them as a result! Yet it felt like they only experienced a little bit of discomfort and because they repented, things were just okay. While I understand and appreciate so much the grace we have received and know that Jesus’ blood has covered all our sins, our actions have consequences and this story missed an opportunity for a good moral lesson.

From looking at other reviews, it appears that most people really loved this book. If you enjoy Amish fiction, it might be worth looking at what others have said and consider reading it.


Make your own Prayer Jar!

Want to make your own prayer jar to pass along to future generations? CLICK HERE to download a printable template you can use to write your sentiments on. Simply cut out each strip of paper when you’re finished and put them in the jar of your choice.

Blog Stops

Janices book reviews, August 14

Among the Reads, August 14

The Avid Reader, August 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, August 15

Just Commonly, August 15

Genesis 5020, August 16

Mary Hake, August 16

Bigreadersite, August 16

Lighthouse Academy, August 17

Seasons of Opportunities, August 17

Christian Bookaholic, August 18

Luv’N Lambert Life, August 18

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, August 19

Blossoms and Blessings, August 19

Splashes of Joy, August 20

SusanLovesBooks, August 20

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 21

Because I said so — adventures in parenting, August 21

Two Points of Interest, August 22

Southern Gal Loves to Read, August 22

Cafinated Reads, August 23

Quiet quilter, August 23

Have A Wonderful Day, August 24

Carpe Diem, August 24

A Baker’s Perspective, August 25

Bibliophile Reviews, August 25

proud to be an autism mom, August 26

Texas Book-aholic, August 26

Reader’s Cozy Corner, August 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 27


To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize that includes:

  • a $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • a jar-shaped notepad
  • a copy of The Hope Jar (with an autographed book plate inside)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.

About Wanda E. Brunstetter

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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7 responses to “The Hope Jar by Wanda Brunstetter – Book Review, Preview

  1. Melissa Ellison

    I’ve read all Wanda’s books and loved them all, I look forward to reading this one.

  2. Trisha McKee

    I have not read this or anything by the author and now I am working on changing that! Look like some great reads!

  3. I cannot wait to read The Hope Jar. I would like to give thanks for all your really great writings, and I wish the best in keeping up the good work in the future.