Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Jacob’s Bell by John Snyder

Jacob’s Bell is a heartwarming tale of redemption and forgiveness just in time for the Christmas season.  Jacob MacCallum is an old homeless drunk and he is estranged from his children in 1943.  He wants to have a relationship with his children and is trying to figure out how.  What did Jacob do that has put him at odds with his children and what can he do to win them back?

I really enjoyed the story of Jacob’s Bell.  I liked how the story pealed back the layers to the back story of Jacob’s life and what he did to his family.  I really liked how the story focused on true redemption of Jacob and working towards forgiveness from his children.  I was also interested in how the Salvation Army played into the story and helped Jacob along with his faith journey and his battle against alcoholism.  I really liked how Jacob seemed to find a purpose when he became a bell ringer and could help others find Christmas cheer. 

I loved the historical setting of Jacob’s Bell squarely during WWII.  This included the fact that Jacob got around by riding the rails as a hobo.  I remember my Great-Grandma Kile’s brother telling hair raising tales of riding the rails in the 1930s.

I love the cover art.  Some covers of a book just make you want to pick them up and the cover of Jacob’s Bell does the trick.

Favorite Quotes:
“Although I am very ashamed of my past, I can’t go back and change any of it – or I would.  I can only go forward.  I realize forgiveness is a gift that can’t be demanded, only requested through prayer and grace.”

Overall, Jacob’s Bell was a great story of one man’s journey through redemption.  I did not always agree with Jacob’s choices in life, but I loved the power of the story of Jacob facing those choices and choosing to go another path.

Book Source:  Review Copy from Hachette Book Group Faith Words