Jason F. Wright. Shadow Mountain, $7.95 (122pp) ISBN 978-1-59038-481-7
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.
Reviewed on: 10/31/2005
Hardcover - 132 pages - 978-1-60285-147-4
Hardcover - 149 pages - 978-1-59038-699-6
Paperback - 167 pages -