Thursday, October 16, 2014

"The Mason Jar" Litfuse Book Review

As a member of Litfuse Publicity Group, I have the privilege of reading and reviewing books at no cost to me in return for my honest review. Today, I'm sharing with you "The Mason Jar" written by James Russell Lingerfelt.


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.

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.
 
As hard as it is for me to be negative in regards to reviewing someone's novel - something that they have worked so hard to write, to publish and to get into the hands of avid readers, I do what to point out some issues I had with "The Mason Jar". The first hiccup came when I read the back of the book, learning that Clayton meets and falls in love with Savannah. Page after page, I waited for Finn (Clayton's nickname) to meet and fall in love with Savannah, helping him mend the broken heart he received when Eden left him. But he never does because Savannah was Eden. They used the wrong name on the book cover. What a silly error! Next, Litfuse's website for "The Mason Jar" has this blurb about the novel:

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.

Simply put, Lingerfelt is no Nicholas Sparks. No where close. The book lacks depth and heart that is always found in Sparks' novels. And having seen each movie listed above, "The Mason Jar" is no where worthy of being in the same category of those novels. Lingerfelt's novel has potential but I feel like it was reaching, hoping to be more like Sparks' The Notebook. My biggest complaint is that there were a few errors in writing and that bugs me. Finn supposedly changes Eden's name in his novel, but that same name is used for her in and out of the novel. Maybe this is the root of the Savannah slip up on the back cover. 

Lingerfelt has a second novel coming out in 2015. I'm interested in seeing if his second attempt at publishing his work turns out better than his first. I'm truly on the fence on if I would read anything else by this author. 

Bottom line, "The Mason Jar" had big potential but fell flat. Have you read a book lately that's left you wanting more? 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. I've definitely read 2nd or 3rd books by an author, then gone back to read their 1st and realized they had come a long way between books. Maybe because the process of writing a book takes so long, there's a lot of time to learn and practice in between?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This author does have a second book coming out and since I thought he was this close with The Mason Jar, I may give a read.

      Delete
  2. How strange and confusing that he would change the name of the girl! And I don't like having to wait almost the whole book just to have some sense of closure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was totally lost a good 3/4 through the book. And the closure came within minutes of me completely the book. It wrapped up a bit too quickly.

      Delete
  3. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the book. Must have been an error of some sort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really wanted to like this book too! But I'm going to give his second novel and chance.

      Delete

Thank you so much for commenting on today's post. I reply to comments via Disqus so if you are curious as to what I may have to say in response to your message, just visit this post and check your comment. -- xo, Stephanie