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.
Rhoda Byler has left her home behind to join the King brothers, particularly Jacob and Samuel, in helping make their apple orchard a successful combined business and then, after tragedy strikes the orchard, several of them have purchased an abandoned orchard in Maine to restore. Perhaps the move to Maine and a new Amish settlement will help Rhoda make a clean start, leaving behind her past and moving beyond the guilt she feels over her sister's murder. But things don't happen exactly as planned. Rhoda still has the visions she has almost been banned from the Amish community for and hers and Jacob's relationship is threatened by his past. Samuel, on the other hand, has realized he too is beginning to have feelings for Rhoda but continues to maintain a distance out of honor for his brother. It seems everyone has a secret or hidden past that continues to get in the way.
First of all, let me say that I have never read anything by Cindy Woodsmall that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed but do you ever feel like you've walked in on the middle of a conversation? I try to make it my reading "policy" never to read a series unless in order and usually until not all are published as I get impatient waiting for the next book to be released. I probably should have adhered to my "policy". Ms. Woodsmall, thankfully, did begin Winnowing Season with a brief summary of book 1, A Season for Tending but I still felt like I was missing a lot of character development and plot that would have allowed me to grab onto The Winnowing Season a bit quicker than I did. However, as always, Ms. Woodsmall has again written another fabulous Amish story that deviates quite a bit from what I have come to expect from the plethora of Amish novels being written today. So, pick it up and hurry. Book 3, For Every Season will be on bookstore shelves this September and these first two will leave you hanging and ready for more! In a nutshell, you can't go wrong with any of Ms. Woodsmall's books.
I did receive this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and was in no way obligated to leave a positive review.