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The Hope Jar

(The Prayer Jars #1)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  536 ratings  ·  265 reviews
A Brand-New 3-Book 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 a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
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Deanne Patterson
Desperate times lead to desperate measures taken. At least they do in the case of Michelle. Facing homelessness and having an abusive boyfriend she flees her situation not quite knowing where she's going or where she'll eventually end up. At the transportation station she is mistaken for an elderly Amish couple's granddaughter. She tries to tell them at first it's not her that's the granddaughter but the grandmother is persistent and she can barely get a word in edgewise. Eventually figuring she ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Hope Jar

Wanda Brunstetter

Oh how I love a Wanda Brunstetter story! She had my emotions all over the place. Once I started reading THE HOPE JAR it was very hard to stop! The twists and turns made it impossible to put down, as I had to know what was going to happen to Michelle after living the big lie she had everyone believing! What an awesome story. All of Wanda's characters feel genuine and relatable and put your emotions on one heck of a roller coaster ride. As you are reading, you will fin
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was by far Wanda's best book to date . My all time favorite book. I can not wait to read the next book in the series The Forgiving Jar.
Amish Fiction with a touch of romance.

I am not a huge fan of Amish fiction as many of the books are very formulaic. But Brunstetter's book definitely puts a new twist on Amish fiction. Amish grandparents go to the bus station to pick up a granddaughter they have never met as their daughter left home during her rumspringa years and never returned. Now she has died leaving a letter for her daughter telling her about the grandparents.
They pick up a red haired girl thinking she is their granddaugh
Shirley Chapel
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All my Goodreads friends and even those who aren't my friends
Recommended to Shirley by: The author
This is one of the best books that Wanda Brunsetter has ever written as far as I'm concerned. It seemed so real to me and not like a work of fiction. The moral of the story is that lies and deception leads to more lies and deception. I was immediately drawn into the story. I felt so sorry for Michelle Taylor. She reached out for the love she never had even though it wasn't meant for her.
Michelle Taylor was born into an abusive family and that's pretty much all she knew in her growing up years.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Believe it or not, this is the first Wanda E. Brunstetter book that I have read and I will definitely be looking for more to read. This was truly an inspiring story. The Hope Jar weaves the tale of two young women who have experienced tragedy and are at a crossroads in their lives. Sara has lost her mother and does not have much of a relationship with her step-father and half brother, Michelle has never really been part of a family at all. She grew up in the foster system. Sara’s grandparents ha ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Inspiring is the word I would use to describe this book. There is pain, fear, deceit, love, hope and triumph. This story is beautifully written and wonderfully executed. The Hope Jar weaves the tale of two young women who have experienced tragedy. Sara has lost her mother and Michelle has never really felt like a part of a family at all. Sara’s grandparents, who have been estranged from their deceased daughter, are looking forward to meeting and building a relationship with their granddaughter. ...more
Maureen Timerman
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
As I turned the final page on this book there was a letdown, I was really enjoying this quick read, and wanted more!
There are a lot of unanswered questions here, and am glad that there is another book to come!
I loved the concept of this story, really a bit different, and yet I could see how it happened. The author seemed to answer some questions, but were they really how all turned out? I really wanted to know more about their real granddaughter, and yet in my heart I wanted the best for the imp
Melissa Henderson
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A jar filled with notes and Scriptures can be the key to the growing faith of one of the main characters. Mistaken identity, deceit, forgiveness and love all play a big part in this heartwarming story. I enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This new book, The Hope Jar, ( first book in the series by Wanda Brunstetter) may just be one of the best books I have ever read! The series begins with a death and revelation that leads a character named Sara to plan to meet her grandparents she never knew she had. This sets up the ultimate deception when another character named Michelle assumes Sarah's identity. The plot is not your typical one and is masterfully written throughout the story. Book one keeps you guessing as another situation de ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wanda E. Brunstetter is back with a new series and it's a bit different than anything I've ever read from her. The storyline is one that I found unique and interesting and definitely not the usual cookie-cutter type that can often be found in the genre. Nope. This book has a story that is unusual and at times had me wondering if I loved it or hated it.

Basically based on a case of mistaken identity, down on her luck Michelle is whisked away to the Amish farm of her "grandparents", the Lapps. Need
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Amish/Contemporary fiction fans, Wanda Brunstetter fans
A desperate young woman in hard times embarks on a path that she's filled with deception and lies. What she finds is unconditional love, the kind of family she's never had, and the first stirrings of faith.

This blends both Amish and contemporary fiction together, unlike many Brunstetter books which are strictly Amish. I found this story to have quickly drawn me into the lives of Michelle, Willis & Mary Ruth Lapp, Ezekiel, Brad, and the Amish community of Strasburg, Pennsylvania. I like that
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Hope Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the first novel in The Prayer Jars series. Sara Murray’s mother passed away two weeks ago without revealing the identity of her birth father. Sara is going through her mother’s Bible when she finds a letter telling her about her Amish maternal grandparents. Excited to find out more about her family and potentially her birth father, Sara writes to them about her impending visit. Mary Ruth and Willis Lapp are at the bus station looking for Sara. They notice ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
THE HOPE JAR is the first book in Ms. Brunstetter's new series. Ms. Brunstetter is a somewhat new author for me, and while I understand that some authors tend to lean heavily to the squeaky-clean, innocence of the Amish, I was not expecting this to be a question and answer book about the Amish and why they believe what they do and do what they do and how are they different. The story kind of gets lost in the telling and I struggled with the realism of some parts of the story.

To be honest, I don
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story, looking forward to the rest of this series.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Life is full of choices. By choosing one direction, it takes us down a certain path, but a different direction would lead to another.”

This thought from Mary Ruth Lapp is one of many that appeared in The Hope Jar, book one in The Prayer Jars series by Wanda E. Brunstetter. The Hope Jar is not the typical Amish fiction story; however, the realism in this story was captivating with the issues that the young women, Michelle Taylor and Sara Murray faced. The well thought out factors of characters w
Diana Montgomery
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-read
Another great story by Wanda Brunstetter. The Hope Jar is book 1 in The Prayer Jars series. Characters are well written. What a awful life Michelle Taylor had. From bad home life to a abusive boyfriend. Well she has had enough and has decided she is leaving town. She doesn't have anybody she can go too. So she goes to Lancaster and falls right into a home of a elderly Amish couple who thinks she is their granddaughter. She is really liking this and feeling at home even got her eye on someone. On ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Michelle is desperate to start anew and get away from her abusive boyfriend. When an Amish couple mistakes her for their granddaughter, she goes along.
Molly Cafinated Reads Jaber
As you all know, I'm huge fan of Wanda Brunstetter. Not one of her books left me disappointed. So, to say I was excited about the start of this new series , is quite the understatement. The more I saw about it on Mrs. Brunstetter's pages, the more anxious for the release I became. Then when the book arrived, I couldn't wait to dive into it. And then......well, then I was in awe of Mrs. Brunstetter. Why? Because she has once again managed to take me to the heart of Amish country, to the world I w ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
3.5 stars. I thought this was an interesting book! I don't know much about Amish people, so it was cool to learn a bit about their way of living.

This book is about Michelle Taylor. She assumes the identity of Sara Murray, and her grandparents have no idea that she's an imposter. I'm sure switching from Michelle's POV to other people's POV of her (When Michelle came downstairs to eat breakfast, Mary Ruth asker her, "Sara, . . .") was really confusing, but I think Wanda did the character transiti
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Hope Jar is book #1 in The Prayer Jars series by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I genuinely enjoyed this book. I get so tired of books with picture perfect characters who never make a mistake.

Michelle is a flawed character who makes a number of big mistakes. She picks out the wrong boyfriend. She's a liar and a thief. She's someone who most people wouldn't like and would have trouble bonding with.

Maybe I shouldn't make excuses for her. But, I didn't see a person who maliciously lied. I didn't see a p
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
Wanda Brunstetter is one of those authors that I just know I am going to enjoy. Sometimes knowing how long she has been writing Amish fiction, I wonder how she keeps coming up with new stories that don't sound like the same old story. She keeps surprising me though. This new series is fantastic, and I cannot wait to see what comes next. First of all, I like how you start reading the book and think the story is going to be all about Sara. Surprise! It's actually all about Michelle, and honestly I ...more

I've read several of this author's works, but I was so disappointed by this story! It didn't have a true ending, but continued on into the next book in the series, making it more of a serial to me than a true series novel.

I really hated t
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
New York Times Best Selling author Wanda Brunstetter has penned a new series entitles The Prayer Jars. Book One, The Hope Jar, is a delightful 311 pages that will transport readers between the modern Englisch world and modern Amish world. The book is much different than any other I have read by author Brunstetter. Her writing style hasn’t changed but the story and information given is. This book was extremely well thought, planned, and organized as well as well written.

The book centers around a
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The Hope Jar is an excellent read for newcomers to Amish fiction and young adult readers. Much in depth information pertaining to the Amish way of life is explained throughout this story of an older Amish couple and the deception a family imposter portrayed.

I was disappointed that the entire book was based on the lies and misrepresentation of a young woman who deceived the Lapps into thinking she was their granddaughter. The deception began somewhat accidentally, but continued for several month
Cathy Morgan
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Lapps' daughter disappeared from their home many years before, leaving nothing but a note. Now, a letter comes from a granddaughter they hadn't known they had, to tell them that she is dead, but that she left a letter for her daughter that told her about her previously unknown grandparents. This new granddaughter, Sara, also asks to come and visit, but the part of the letter that gives the date is dropped in a puddle and becomes almost illegible. On the date they think it says, her grandpare ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Please read the synopsis, I'm afraid that I won't do it justice if I recap it here.

I am so disappointed in this book. It's mostly my fault that I got this ARC that I just couldn't finish. I chose it based on the author and her previous books that I have read. While she is not my favorite Amish author she is consistent and I'm able to give almost all of her books at least 3.5 stars---until this one.

If the main character -Michelle/Sara wasn't such a thief and liar, wasn't so cold and calculating a
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it

The idea of a Hope Jar, or a Prayer Jar is a pretty neat idea! And Michelle finding it was good because that’s what she needed in her life at the time. I somehow find it unbelievable though how Michelle ended up with this Amish family. That grandparents would take a young lady in under those circumstances. And I was really irritated at Michelle for her actions and attitude. I did feel bad for the Lapps because they fell in love with Michelle.

But I think my heart broke m
Shyla Colt
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the concept! When down on her luck, Michelle is mistaken for the long lost granddaughter of a kindly Amish couple, she plays along. Low on money with no place to lay her head, and running from an abusive ex, lying is her best option.

Her journey as she learns about religion, experiences true kindness, and sees a life lives on faith is beautiful. I loved joining her as she learned more about thei culture. I found the sun plots and some of the character development to be off. We're left wit
Cheryl Baranski
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Hope Jar is the first book in the new series The Prayer Jars by Wanda E. Brunstetter. Wanda has outdone herself again. She has written another story that will surly capture the heart of her readers. I finished The Hope Jar in one day it was that wunderbar. This story is full of hope, faith, love, deception, heartache, pain and so much more. I am so looking forward to reading the next book in this series and catching up with these characters.
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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, a

Other books in the series

The Prayer Jars (2 books)
  • The Forgiving Jar (The Prayer Jars #2)
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