The Mason Jar is indeed a Nicholas Spark's style novel.
It has a fast moving Love-at-First-Sight romance between two graduate students who both have big hearts and world-changing dreams.
It has a wise, gentle Grandfather who prays, works, and speaks blessing into his Grandson's life.
It has an aching separation, a romance ended prematurely that haunts the would-be lovers for years.
It has twists and turns worthy of a Hallmark film. (My Grammy would have loved this story brought to the screen!)
The strength of the writing in this story is the descriptive power. Whether he's describing the farm back home or the university in California, you experience the place and come to know the people.
And there are many good thoughts that are worth highlighting, from character's conversations, letters, and inner dialogue.
"My own experience has taught me that if you love people and let them be themselves in your presence, you'll never be short of friends. When you... allow them space to grow, they'll always remember you because they know they were loved unconditionally."~Grandpa
For me, this was mostly a story of two twenty-somethings wrestling with their roles in a troubled world. Finn and Eden were both striving to turn their youthful energy into something useful and lasting. In both cases, they turned to humanitarian work.
Finn's thoughts on this matter give him depth. He has a vision for charities that give aid without violating the culture and traditions of the local people, the kind of aid that empowers people instead of "rescuing" them.
That adds extra meat to the story, as we follow Finn overseas to work with orphans. There are some timely and real-world relevant discussions about how we American's can extend our hands to the needy and "help without hurting."
Litfuse Publicity provided me with a review copy of The Mason Jar.