Monday, October 13, 2014

Book: The Mason Jar

What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she's ever read? "But," she said, "it's about you." The author is your college ex.
In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather's desk---letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.
Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.
A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.
Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall.


I'm not even sure where to start with this story.  The premise was interesting, but the execution was awful.  Given that the book has been out for 3 years now there were some major proofreading errors throughout the book that are just inexcusable and jarred me out of the story completely.

The style is nice, and I see the connection to Thoreau with the descriptive language, but in all honesty it feels like it was written as a movie script (which it is to become next year).  The characters dive headlong into a relationship and then there is this unrequited love for 10 years.  Yet the story starts in the present and you go back through the telling to figure out why they are where they are today.  And then when it gets to the present the book is over just like that with no fleshing out of the ending or even an epilogue.  That's quite frustrating to me.

The other thing that really bothered me was it felt like the story was one long cliche.  Grandpa gives good advice in his letters, but it honestly felt very preachy (and not in a religious way) to the reader.  Most people I know do NOT talk like that, even in writing!

Overall I would have to say, give this one a pass.  Maybe see the movie next year depending on reviews, but yes, it was definitely modeled on a Nicholas Sparks style so you may have already seen it.


Find your own copy or read other reviews here.

James Russell Lingerfelt is the author of The Mason Jar and writes articles for The Huffington Post. James connects with readers at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, and divides his time between Southern California and his family's ranch in Alabama.

I received this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

The Mason Jar James Russell Lingerfelt

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