Book Review: The Mason Jar

8 Oct

The-Mason-Jar-cover-240x384What 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.


JLingerfelt-248.pngJames 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.


My Impressions:

I really had high hopes for James Ligerfelt’s novel The Mason Jar. The promotional blurb raised expectations for the novel that, for me, never materialized. This is a book with good bones that needs, in my opinion, considerably more fleshing out. I wondered just what the difficulty was for me, until I read the author’s bio on his website. He has plans for The Mason Jar to be made into a movie. Reading that, it clicked with me that this novel reads like a novelization of a movie. As I said, there is a good framework to work with, but not enough plot and character development, especially motivation and background. It also could use closer editing — too many problems with word choice and continuity.

I know that this review seems harsh. I have labored over expressing my thoughts on The Mason Jar. But in the end, I feel that an honest opinion is called for. Please know that I seem to be in the minority in my opinions. This novel has more 5 star reviews on Amazon than negative reviews. I encourage you to check out the reviews published on Amazon as well as on LitFuse.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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