13 October 2014

The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt, Book review

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: William and Keats Publishing (September 9, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984476633
  • Also available in KINDLE format


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, named Savannah. 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. 

Note: In September 2014, a new version of The Mason Jar (distinguishable by the blue title box on the front cover) was released with a redemptive ending.

My thoughts:

From its synopsis THE MASON JAR held my attention with visions of everlasting love, the sort that does not die despite circumstances and lengthy absence. To be sure loving someone means continuous growth with good and bad times and I am not talking about the chemistry which sparks only a physical closeness, soon to burn and leaving ashes.

For his literary debut James Russell Lingerfelt's chose to write a surprising novel written from the perspective of a young man. Finding the woman of his dreams in college, Finn is already making plans for the future. 
Suddenly his soul mate leaves him a note, telling him how much she loves him only to ask him not to search for her. You can almost feel the despair and the anger this young man experiences and you cannot but wonder how you would feel in his shoes. But whilst the emotions seemed real and well established, the over whole love story lacks the strength to make it distinguishable from countless others. 

Neither Finn or Eden's characters gave me much satisfaction, particularly in the case of Eden. And while I learned a lot about Micro lending and its overall effect on the third world, the only person I felt any affinity with was Finn's Grandfather. In fact if the story had been more about him and the Mason Jar, I would have preferred the novel much more. The tradition of both men exchanging letters via a Mason Jar on Finn's Grandfather's desk was nothing but beautiful.

However if the script did not held my attention for long, I discovered a wealth of quotes guaranteed to take a hold of the most blase amongst us.

I'll leave readers with two of Lingerfelt's quotes:

"To hold her in my arms against the twilight and be her comrade forever, this was all I wanted so long as my life should last. And this, I told myself with a kind of wonder, this was what love was: this consecration, this curious uplifting, this sudden inexplicable joy, and this intolerable pain."

"Experiencing the touch from a woman you love brings comfort and ease. You see the beauty in all things that exist in the world, all your problems dissipate , and everything is suddenly okay. Nothing seems as bad as it once did. That's the power a good woman has over a man."

4 Stars.

Landing page:

Meet the Author:

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.

For more information visit his website (HERE)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LITFUSE. as part of it's promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


  1. I love the idea of the mason jar affirmations and counsel! Wish I had done something like that when my kids were little:) BTW, my grandpa lived in both Tennessee and Colorado...
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: I wanted to let you know I awarded you the Liebster award recently. Don't feel you have to do anything at all because I know how busy life gets and am pretty busy right now too (hence the late notice). Feel free to save the award should you want to -- it is just my way of letting you know I appreciate your blog with its lovely history, awesome dog, etc.! The link to your name is here: http://aimeeonthemountainside.blogspot.com/2014/10/liebster-award-winners_10.html and the actual award is on the post prior to that one. Also, feel free to delete this comment should you not allow links -- it was just the easiest way to let you know:)

    1. Och Aimee, in life we meet very special people and I like to count you amongst those! Thank you very much for the thoughtful gesture, I will certainly check it out!
      God bless,

  2. I found the title puzzling. I don't think we have mason jars in England, but we might call them "Kilner jars"

    1. Aimed at an American audience, it featured the name all Yanks use for these jars Jenny but you are spot on, it is just kilner jars!
      Lovely to see you here!!


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