Friday, December 21, 2018

Jacob's Bell by John Snyder

Jacob’s Bell by John Snyder has readers traveling to Chicago in September of 1944.  Jacob McCallum is sixty-three years old and recently had a brush with death.  He has been estranged from his children for over twenty years, and he now wants to make amends.  At one time, Jacob was a wealthy businessman, with a loving wife and three kids.  Then an accident changed his life and that of his family.  Jacob has been traveling the country in an alcohol induced haze for the last ten years via freight trains.  He wants to have a relationship with his children and their families, but Jacob is afraid.  He enters a bar for liquid courage and ends up passed out in an alley.  Pastor Howard Angel from the local Salvation Army Mission befriends Jacob and takes him back to the mission.  Jacob relates his story to Howard while working on overcoming his alcohol addiction and trying to find his son, Tom.  Jacob’s road to redemption and forgiveness is not without roadblocks and potholes.  He must deal with his guilt over his past deeds before he can seek his children’s forgiveness.  Jacob ends up in Baltimore seeking his daughter, Emma during the holiday season.  He ends up becoming a Salvation Army bell ringer.  One day a little girl comes by and donates all the money she has saved up for a new doll and they become friends.  This one little girl will help lead Jacob to his family and obtain the forgiveness he desires.  Join Jacob on his poignant journey in Jacob’s Bell.

Jacob’s Bell is a heartwarming and heart wrenching Christmas story.  Jacob McCallum wants to reconnect with his family.  He regrets the choices he made over twenty years ago, and Jacob knows that he will not receive a warm reception from his children.  Jacob’s Bell is a man’s journey towards forgiveness, redemption, recovery and reconciliation.  I thought Jacob’s Bell was well-written with steady pacing.  Readers join Jacob on his emotional journey and learn valuable life lessons along the way.  There is a good flow between the present and the past.  How Jacob ended up in his present state is slowing revealed as the story progresses.  Jacob finds faith with the aid of Pastor Howard Angel and the people at the Salvation Mission.  He learns that forgiving himself will relieve him of a heavy burden and he will find freedom.  The Christian elements are intertwined with the story beautifully.  It is reminiscent of Melody Carlson and Dan Walsh’s novels. Jacob’s Bell is a feel-good Christmas story that will tug at your heartstrings.   John Snyder has also written The Golden Ring.

I appreciate you visiting today.  I hope I have helped you find a new book to read.  I will be sharing my thoughts on Santa Puppy by Lynn Cahoon next time.  I am off to continue my Christmas preparations (I am so far behind).  Stay warm and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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