The Winnowing Season is book 2 in the series and follows A Season for Tending. The main female character is Rhoda Byler who has a gift of being able to intuitively know what is about to happen. Some call this a hunch. Some call it "second sight." But some deem it witchcraft or evil. But Rhoda has lived with this gift virtually her entire life and has learned to suppress and hide it from the people around her. Because, you see, the Amish deem it evil. But Rhoda is a woman of God and one who seeks His will in all she does.
Next we have Jacob and Samuel King, owners of the fabled King Apple Orchards and brothers. Both men have begun to love Rhoda but Jacob seems to be winning the courtship.
The story begins in book two on the heels of a devastating tornado that brought ruin to Kings Orchard. A group of Amish from the community have sought out new land in Maine and are leaving to begin a totally new Amish community in Maine. Rhoda is especially looking forward to a new life in a new community freed from the whispers and seeming hatred of her current Amish community. Before they can leave, though, Rhoda is called before the controlling and governing body of Amish pastors regarding her "gift."
It is difficult to understand the concept of church government and judging as is followed in the Amish communities unless one has been exposed personally to such. This meeting has strictly observed rules, regulations, and order peculiar to the Amish. It needs to be understood that there would be differences in communities of Amish believers so they would not all follow this plan. The matter for Rhoda is ultimately resolved and the group leaves for Maine.
This story line involves a lot of conflict between individuals and brings to light the possible harshness that can exist in the life of seemingly peaceful, plain folk.
As I have come to expect, Cindy Woodsmall has again produced a very good read that is clean and a joy to read. But then, we would expect such from a New York Times Best-Selling Author of Christian fiction. I am looking forward to the September 2013 release of book 3 in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series - Every Season.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of The Winnowing Season from Blogging for Books on behalf of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group and the author in exchange for my honest opinion. No other goods were exchanged. Opinions expressed are solely my own.
So we rejoin Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob as they embark on starting a new Amish community in Maine. This second book starts right where the first leaves off. It begins when Rhoda, Samuel and Jacob are suppose to be heading to Maine. I won't give away any spoilers but it doesn't work out the way they plan.
Among all the hardship that is facing them, trouble still seems to follow Rhoda wherever she goes. Now they are faced with a rough move, no community support, an outside world trying to get involved in their lives, and can Rhoda stop hearing her sister Emma? This book was just as good as the first.
I loved the chemistry between the characters in this book. There was something different about this book than other Amish books that I have read. Rhoda, Samuel and Jacob's struggles seemed very authentic. Their reactions to problems in their lives seemed more real as well. What a blessing it could be that with everything all of us could go to God instead of being distracted by worldly things. One can learn so much from Amish ways.
This book is worth taking the time to read.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest opinion. No other goods were exchanged.
The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall is the second installment of the Amish Vines and Orchards series. Rhoda Byler and her brother and his family have joined forces with the King brothers' family to form a new Amish community in Maine. Rhoda and Jacob King had a new romance begun during the A Season for Tending installment of the series. Rhoda's friend Landon had found an orchard in Maine badly in need of repair which was for sale at a price that they could afford. Rhoda came from a harder more conservative community of Amish than the King family. The night before they were to leave they got word that the Rueben Glick, the man who had destroyed Rhoda's small family orchard and garden had twisted the story so that Rhoda was in trouble and maybe would be punished by not being allowed to go on the move. Though Rueben's uncle was presiding over the meeting truth managed to win out and so began the great move to the new orchard in Maine. Rhoda Byler and Samuel King must learn to work together and Rhoda needs to learn how to deal with Jacob's secrets and trouble with the law. This 2nd installment is how they all learn to live together drawing from each of their strengths and living within their weaknesses.
Ms Woodsmall has outdone herself with this installment. As usual she has left us wanting more. The author has drawn the reader into the lives of the Byler and King settlement of Amish in such a way that they no longer see the characters as Amish but rather as friends that anyone could have. Friends that we all want to live in and around our own community, friends who have problems but who love and care about those around them whether like them or different from them. I love reading her stories and look forward to reading the next installment of the Amish Vines and Orchards series.
This book was provided by Waterbrook Press for this review.
"The Winnowing Season" by Cindy Woodsmall, book review, Amish Vines and Orchards, book #2
Rhoda, Samuel and Jacob are the owners and operators of Kings' Orchard, but when a tornado devastates the apple orchard, they decide to move to Maine and start over. With the help of the English friend, Landon, they buy an abandoned apple orchard with the hope of starting a new Amish community. They are all really counting on this move to be the beginning, a fresh start. But they are plagued with past problems even before they leave. Rhoda is brought before the Amish elders to answer claims that she was wronged by the destruction of her herb garden. Jacob gets a frantic call from an English friend who needs help. And Samuel just tries to keep the family together.
The story continues with the struggles of moving, made a little more challenging by being the first Amish in the new area, so folks are not used to how they live. Each works for the better of the family and the hopes that the new community will soon attract more Amish families. The book definietly is open about the differences between Amish and English and the struggles for both sides.
I was a bit overwhelmed by all the time spent in the beginning with the dispute between Rhoda and an Amish neighbor who destroyed her garden, and the way the church leaders handled the meeting. While I am not Amish, so I do not understand all their rules and laws, the way the meeting was described, it did not seem fair the all parties involved. But overall, I did enjoy the story and will look forward to reading the next in the series.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press. All opinions expressed are my own.