Title: Jacob’s Bell
Author: John Snyder
“If I can gain the love and acceptance of my children after what I have done to them, I will never ask for anything else,” Jacob begs in John Snyder’s holiday tale, Jacob’s Bell: A Christmas Story.
~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-twenty-four pages, this small hardbound with a charming jacket cover targets those who enjoy a Christmas story of forgiveness and redemption. Dedicated to Salvation Army Bell Ringers, the story has acknowledgments and the author’s biography at the end. Including slang words such as dang, crap, darn, and damn, its topics of alcohol abuse, war, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.
In this story set in 1944, sixty-three-year-old Jacob McCallum has lost his wife, family, and business, turning to the bottle to forget his guilt, shame, and poor decisions. After years of drinking, carousing, and having poor judgment, he meets a man who runs the local Salvation Army and helps him change his ways. With the desire to make amends with is adult children, he encounters a young girl who captures his heart while learning how to forgive himself.
This is a short, quaint story about redemption, hope, and forgiving. I like how the writer sets the scene dealing with the main character’s shortcomings and feelings of unworthiness. With a few references on faith in God, it shows how the Almighty is always there for us, no matter what we have done.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with God may have no interest in this read. Some may find the characters stereotypical and the plot predictable, but its value rings soundly as Jacob changes his ways for the better. I found some of the monologue unnecessary and dry.
~ Wish ~
While I appreciated the basis of turning one’s life around, finding God, and forgiving others and oneself, I wish the story conveyed more of Jacob’s inner struggles in not being able to reestablish family relationships. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence and no slang or cuss words in a faith-based book.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a redemptive Christmas story about an older man ardently seeking forgiveness from his family, this would be a thoughtful read, hopefully contemplating one’s own family relationships.
Thanks to FaithWords for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jacobs-bell-john-snyder/1127922431