Published by Self-Published on May 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Three months touring Europe.
Romantic. Dazzling. Unforgettable.
The trip of a lifetime.
But some lifetimes are shorter...
We couldn’t have known it would work out this way.
No one could. No one could’ve guessed that something so beautiful could be so tragic.
But it is tragic.
Yet so, so beautiful.
That’s what sacrifice is—beauty and tragedy.
It’s pain and suffering for something or someone you love.
And this is the ultimate sacrifice.
One stunning act of true love.
This is our story.
Our true love story.
Q & A Review by Micah, Liezel and Angie
What was your favorite quote in the BOOK?
Micah: I have so much of this book highlighted, honestly. I felt so many of this book one or two liners stood out. I’m going to list some of my favorites that I think spoke to me and spoke to the story.
“My jar was nearly empty before her. Now it is overflowing.”
As it is the title of the book, the theme of the jar runs from literally the first page until the very end and it means different things at different times. I just really liked this.
‘Let’s make this count. Let’s love enough for the rest of my life.’ I suggest with a wry half-grin. His next words stop my heart. ‘No, let’s love enough for the rest of mine.”
Liezel: There were so many remarkable quotes in this book but the one that really stood out for me was this passage that sums up the eternal love Nate had for his wife…
“She is the love of my life. She always has been, and I have no doubt that she always will be. Till death do us part. Death might part our bodies, but it will never part out hearts, our souls. Our love. Love like ours doesn’t die…
Angie: I’m with Micah on this. I have a lot highlighted too.
“Goodnight, stars. Goodnight, moon. Goodnight, lightning bugs. Come back soon.”
This quote here is repeated so many times in the book. Each time I read it, it took me back to my childhood of chasing and catching ladybugs with my sister and daddy. It also made me cry for several different reasons. As you read The Empty Jar you’ll see but one of those reasons was for my own childhood memories.
“Fill your jar. As long as your jar is full, your life will never be empty. And every chance you get, put your face in the sun and show the wind how to fly. Be fearless, my baby girl. Be fearless.”
This quote spoke to me on many levels. It told me that life is too short to worry about the small stuff. Love like there is no tomorrow. Live like it’s your last day. You never know what might happen. I teach my daughter this every day. I want her to fly…
How do you feel about the characters?
Micah: I loved the characters. I feel like you got a real sense of who they were over the course of the story. Nathaniel was great. I loved him. I loved how these characters were deeply rooted in their love. This isn’t a falling-in-love story…this is a BEING- in- love story. What happens 16 years into a marriage…and that can be beautiful. Lena is a warrior princess I could only hope to be. Their relationship shined and I believe that is what I will take away most from this book. The feeling that soulmates could be real.
Liezel: Both Nate and Lena character development were remarkable. Their love and devotion for each other was so profound. I would say that their marriage and partnership is something that all of us need to strive for.
Angie: I agree with Micah completely on this. I loved that Nate and Lena have been in love for 16 yrs. I love that that they are closer to my age. I love that they are already married. Nate and Lena’s love is like no other and I can only hope one day I can find. Right now I have more of a Nissa and Mark relationship. Lol Anyways, everything they went through they stayed strong for each other. No matter what their love never faltered. They made each other strong. Nate and Lena were each other’s Blaze of Glory!
It was mentioned that “The Empty Jar” was going to be a heartbreaking, ugly cry story, was this true for you?
Micah: I’m not a crier. I rarely cry at books and I certainly don’t ‘ugly’ cry at books. I will say that 2 tears (maybe 3) were shed towards the end of the book and they were well deserved. While I knew the ending was coming, it was still pretty emotional. Angie and Liezel both wanted me to read this book because they had been hearing that it was super emotional and they wanted to see if it would break my cold heart. It didn’t break it, but it did fracture it a little.
I must mention because we don’t have a question about the story that I had a problem with this book for about the first 50% that I had with A Thousand Boy Kisses. You know the sad event/problem/situation looming and like waves, the characters keep washing it up page after page. I grew tired of having it repeated for me. I get it! I know why I am SUPPOSED to be sad. MAKE me sad. While that is the case for the first 50% of the book, the last 1/2 is a remarkable tale that I really feel like the author witnessed and experienced and it was a pleasure to read.
Liezel: I was honestly hesitant about reading this book after hearing how gut-wrenching it was. I was thinking maybe I wouldn’t be able to get it, maybe I wouldn’t affect me in that way and it would leave me disappointed but oh boy was I wrong… IF you’ve read a review where it says that you will need a box of tissues, take it to heart. Not only would you need a box of tissues but a bottle of wine and a box of chocolate to go along with it.
There were so many situations that had me unbelievably emotional. It’s been days since I’ve finished reading this book and yet when I see something that reminds me of this story such as a simple mason jar it has me misty-eyed all over again.
Angie: Yes it was true to me! I bawled like a baby! I read this book on my way to TN for my baby girls 5th birthday and I advise anyone not to do that. Read this alone. In your bedroom, with a box of tissues. Not with your mom, grandma, her husband and your daughter all staring at you like you lost your ever loving mind. I knew The Empty Jar was going to be emotional and heartbreaking but I didn’t expect the extreme high’s and lo’s that M. Leighton was going to put me through.
Has this novel changed you in any way?
Micah: Yes. It really has. But I cannot comment on why without spoiling the book. The blurb gives NOTHING away and I don’t want to either. But it has given me more compassionate lenses to view the world through and in all, isn’t that a better way to see things?
Liezel: This story had me contemplating numerous things both on a personal and professional level.
Personal – because it made me analyze the relationship I have with my family. It had me thinking of the things that I would willingly sacrifice for those nearest and dearest to me. It too had me pondering about “The End”, wondering what sort of legacy would I be leaving behind when that day comes.
I mentioned before that I am a nurse by profession. Caring for terminally ill patients for more than a decade will at one time or another have anyone feeling jaded. This book, however, affected me so much – it reopened my eyes and had me commemorate that pledge that I made years ago.
Angie: Yes it has but in a positive way. I really wish I could elaborate on this but I can’t. I’ll just say that even though I didn’t write it, a lot of it hit home with me. Which made it even more emotional for me. It also opened those feelings back up that I’ve kept locked away for so long and made me remember.
Would you recommend this book?
Micah: I really would. If you had problems with A Thousand Boy Kisses for the same problems I did, PLEASE endeavor to push through. The end of this novel is so beautiful, it would be a shame for anyone to miss out. All of these really emotional books are coming out recently and I feel like they are trying to soften my hardened heart!
Liezel: This isn’t your typical love story, rather it is an emotional story about life, love, and sadly loss. It will have you in tears but every single tear you shed will be worth it. There is so much to learn from this book. There aren’t many books that I deemed life-changing but for me, “The Empty Jar” definitely is. Read it! Feel it! Love it!
Angie: I just want to thank you, Michelle, for writing such a personal and heart-wrenching book. I loved every word. I will be recommending this to everyone. It truly is a phenomenal book and I’m so happy and sad at the same time that you wrote it.
Liezel and Angie’s Rating:
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
This book is not a romantic fairy tale. Yet, it’s the most romantic story I’ve ever told. It’s a journey of pain and loss, of hope and happiness. It’s both achingly tragic and exquisitely beautiful. It’s a love story. A true love story about real love. The kind that sees you through the night and holds you when you cry. The kind that won’t give up and never lets go. The kind we all dream about and few find. But it’s real. I promise you, it’s real. I’ve seen this kind of love, and I’ve seen this kind of heartbreak. I got to see it up close and personal, and quite honestly, I will never be the same. I hope it changes you as much as it changed me.
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