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Herb & Muncy Chapman
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In 1927, when seven-year-old TJ Gallagher wins a blue glass candy jar at the county fair, he does not realize that this seemingly small event is destined to change his life forever.
The Gallagher family moves from Alabama to central Florida, with all their possessions crammed into a Model-A Ford truck, but instead of a land of endless beaches, TJ learns about “strawberry schools,” where rural children attend classes all summer in order to help their families with winter crops. To make matters worse, a pig-tailed prodigy named Peggy Sue pops up like a pesky mosquito at each of TJ’s worst moments.
Throughout the Great Depression, TJ’s mother, Amelia, with limited tangible resources, inspires her husband and children to reach for and attain goals that many would view as impossible.
At the end of World War II, when TJ returns after serving his country in the South Pacific, will he be able discover the author of the pretty, scented letters that have inspired him for the last two years?
As a returning Navy veteran, will TJ’s determination to finish his studies at the University of Florida ruin his chance for romance with the girl who has stolen his heart?
What will finally become of the blue glass candy jar?
I sometimes wonder where the fickle winds of fate might have blown me, and where I might be today, had it not been for the blue glass candy jar. Today it rests on a well-dusted shelf, where the love of my life keeps it high above the reach of inquisitive hands. The afternoon sun slants through the blinds and intensifies its iridescent cobalt luster, pulling my attention from a pair of scampering squirrels in the oak tree outside, transporting me back to a time and place so far removed that events mingle with dreams, their edges evaporating before they can fully be recalled. Yet there stands the candy jar, tangible proof of all that transpired.
Carnival glass they call it today—a collector’s item. But in 1927, we called it “crystal,” because it was as close to the real thing as we ever expected to own.
Margaret has placed it between two Fostoria candlesticks whose worth would equal two months’ pay in 1927 dollars, yet I wouldn’t trade that blue glass candy jar for the Queen of England’s collection of fine crystal. That jar holds my life, its failures and successes, and all the hopes and dreams that wedged their way in between.
* * * *
“The Blue Glass Candy Jar is the poignant account of a family. A tale of love, discovery and inspiration, it shows that through tough times and good, a family is held together by their hopes, dreams and beliefs. In 1927 TJ Gallagher is a little boy. He wins a blue glass candy jar at a county fair, and brings it proudly home to his mother. Although the family cannot afford candy to fill the jar, it receives a place of honor in TJ’s home, and in his mother’s heart. Throughout TJ’s life his family was constant and supportive, and the blue glass candy jar a fixed presence.
I loved this book for so many different reasons. First, it tells the story of a family so clearly, without anything but truth and humor. It is a story that so many of us could see ourselves a part of. The characters, each quirky and human, could be our aunts, uncles, teachers and neighbors. Too, the characters themselves are so utterly charming it is impossible not to feel surrounded by them when reading TJ’s story. I rarely cry when reading but this book choked me up at the end. Herb and Muncy Chapman have given this heartwarming tale an ending that brought tears to my eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed The Blue Glass Candy Jar. A wonderful story!” 5 Angels! Reviewed by Marlene, Fallen Angel Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 226
Paper Weight (lb): 9.4
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