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Christmas Jars Paperback – October 4, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In a plot reminiscent of Penelope Stokes's The Blue Bottle Club and Angela Hunt's The Note, a journalist happens upon a human interest story that winds up teaching her lessons about love and forgiveness and renewing her own faith in human kindness. On Christmas Eve, twenty-something Hope Jensen is quietly grieving the recent loss of her adoptive mother when her apartment is robbed. The one bright spot in the midst of Hope's despair is a small jar full of money someone has anonymously left on her doorstep. Eager to learn the source of this unexpected generosity, Hope uses her newswoman instincts to find other recipients of "Christmas jars," digging until her search leads her to the family who first began the tradition of saving a year's worth of spare change to give to someone in need at the holiday. Wright commits some rookie mistakes in style and pacing; the novel veers heavily toward melodrama at some junctures, and he tends to show us and tell us about his characters. Still, the heart of this novella is its transformative message about the power of giving, a compelling theme that calls to mind books like Pay It Forward and The Kingdom Assignment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Beautifully written. I believe the Christmas Jars tradition will change lives."--Richard Paul Evans --Richard Paul Evans
-Beautifully written. I believe the Christmas Jars tradition will change lives.---Richard Paul Evans --Richard Paul Evans --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
I never like to give away too much information and spoil the story for those who are thinking of reading the book. Basically, this is a story about an abandoned baby girl who was given the name “Hope.” This little girl grows up and ends up working for a newspaper and the story of the Christmas Jars is intertwined to make this a very compelling read. It is the kind of book the whole family would enjoy reading.
This is a wonderful inspirational story that is a pure joy to read.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku).
On the other hand... couldn't we all use a reminder to look out for others at the holidays? If that's the author's intent... well, then, success!
And merry Christmas.
I felt the beginning was sweet - how the main character, Hope, came to live with her adoptive mom and their life together. I enjoyed reading how well she was in school, growing up and all that stuff. When she actually came to be a receipient of the Jar and how she wanted to find out more about the background of the Jar I thought: "Wow, this is just like The Note!" I mean I knew it was along the same line, I just thought it would relate more toward Chrismas "good cheer" as opposed to "finding who was behind ....." I honestly didn't expect the similarity to be honest.
The actual background of the Jar was sweet (I love that word, don't I?); I even told my husband about the "tradition", he just looked at me. Strangely enough, I do the exact same thing with ALL my change, I just don't buy presents like the couple did, I put it in the bank. I absolutely loved the relationship between the couple and their kids and how nice they were to Hope.
Fast forward to the ending (and no I'm NOT going to tell it). As I was reading the last chapter or two I was practically teary-eyed (and I was on the train no less). Didn't expect it in any way. It was ... yes I'm going to say it ..... sweet and very touching.
The ONLY negative I did have: I would have loved to have learned who actually gave Hope the Jar that initiated the whole search and for her to actually talk to the person and maybe it could have been a guy for her to have a relationship with (my wishful thinking here). If it actually did say it I honestly don't recall.
Would I give/recommend this to someone to read? Probably not. Though I liked the book, it is not on my short list of books I would highly recommend to people and would read over and over again no matter how long I'll have the book. Though I would probably read the last 2 chapters over again.
Am I sorry I bought/read it? No, because of the ending.