The Winnowing Season is the second book in Cindy Woodsmall's series Amish Vines and Orchards. It picks up right where book number one ends, with Samuel, Rhoda, Jacob and Leah making plans to begin a new settlement in Maine. One thing that I appreciated was in the beginning of the book the author gave a short summary of book one so it catches the reader up.
In book two Rhoda, her brother Stephen and his family, and the Kings along with Rhoda's English friend Landon set out to start their new lives, but things don't go as planned. There are new crisis and challenges as the two families fight to revive the abandoned orchard which is the center of their new settlement.
Winnowing by definition means: "to examine something in order to remove the bad, unusable, or undesirable parts". This is a wonderful title for this book because all the main characters struggle to rid themselves of something that is part of them.
Jacob's past comes back to haunt him, putting his budding relationship with Rhoda in jeopardy. We get to find out what great secrets haunt him from his time among the English. We get to see him struggle between his past and his future. I honestly think that this was some of my favorite parts of the book.
Rhoda fights to let go of the guilt over her sisters' death, and her story continues to intrigue me as her it unfolds. I love learning more about her. Samuel on the other hand didn't seem to really start to look inward until almost the end of the book so I'm looking forword to reading what's next for him in book three.
Leah begins to explore the English world that may lead her to leave her Amish upbringing, but also along the way she takes her first steps into adult maturity. For me Leah showed the most growth as a character. She admitted to her mistakes and begins to make choices that are based on logic rather than girlish emotions.
This second book does not disappoint its reader. While it is not a up-all-night book, it is a great story that keeps your attention.
Rhoda Byler and her business partners, Samuel and Jacob King, have finally come to an agreement on what to do after the devastating tornado that destroys King's Orchard. With no way to restore the orchard to it's productive state, Rhoda's friend Landon, offers them a solution and new start in Unity, Maine where his grandmother lives. Finding an apple orchard to restore is no easy task however; and with plans to leave young Eli King in charge of the dying orchard in Pennsylvania, they are ready to start a new life in Maine.
Their intentions to start a new Amish community where there are none is daunting, but they are determined to succeed as they have no other choice except to turn back. Steven Byler, his wife Phoebe, and their two children are the only complete family coming along. Leah King is tagging along to help with as much as she possibly can. Landon is there as their English liaison and guide. But the evening before their scheduled departure finds Rhoda and Samuel under the inquisition of her church leaders. Will her uncanny ability to perceive things before they happen cause the church to not allow her to leave for Maine as planned? And what secrets do the King brothers have to hide?
This was a long-anticipated sequel to Woodsmall's first book in the Amish Vines and Orchard Series. Amish novel are a dime a dozen, but I couldn't help but get sucked into this series. While I think Rhoda tends to get upset very easily towards the King brothers - to the point of unnecessary drama; her character has been second guessed all her life, feared, and disrespected at every turn, so I can understand why she reacts to authority the way she does. All in all a wonderful novel, and I can't wait to find out how everything turns out!
This book was provided for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Book Summary: The tornado that devastated Kings' Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start inÂ Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish communityâ€”and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them? On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district's bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be trueâ€”that Rhoda's intuition is a gift from God. Jacob King won't be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her inÂ Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his ownâ€”one he'll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally. Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God's leading and build a new home and orchard inÂ Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?
My Review: I was amazed at how quick a read this was. It was worth reading every minute of it. I loved how much more the characters grew and changed in such a short time. The plot grew greater with all the little details swirling around this book. I think that Rhoda and Samuel are the best of the book. It is very hard to pick which of the secondary characters I liked best. There was very little to complain about. I found between book 1 and book 2 a seamlessness that was like coming in out of the cold. I liked the move to Maine after all the stress of Rhoda going before her elders. I was disappointed that Jacob left and for so long. Jacob's situation from his past was getting a little old but seemed more controlled by the end of the book. This is just another fine example of Ms. Woodsmall's superb writing just enough to hook me into the 3rd even 4th book and look forward to each an every word!!
I would like to thank Blogging for Books and Waterbook Press for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Both my mom and I really enjoy Cindy Woodsmalls books. We both pass them back and forth. I have truly enjoyed each of her books and The Winnowing Season was no exception. The Winnowing Season is the second book in her Amish Vines and Orchards series. I love reading Christian fiction books and especially those with the Amish theme, but sometimes they can be a bit_predictable. The Winnowing Season is anything but predictable! In this fictional book it weaves together the Amish, an orchard and even illegal activities and drugs! I was so into this book that the day I finished it I drove it over to my mom for her to read. We both loved it. The characters are SO flawed and imperfect and the way the plot moved_I just never knew what was coming. If you want an interesting read that will exceed your expectations then buy this book! I loved it!
The Winnowing Season is book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series. I had not read book 1 when I requested this book for review. So I hopped on to the library website so I could read it before. While it is not necessary to read book 1 before it does help out a lot and gives you all the background to the characters and their decisions/ actions in book 2.
The Winnowing Season picks up where book 1 left off. However if you would grab this one not knowing it's a book 2 there is a brief summary to catch you up some. Rhonda has a gift she was blessed with she can sense things. This scares the Amish community, they think it must be some kind of evil doing. They just don't get her gift. All Rhonda wants is a fresh clean start in Maine. She tries her hardest to ignore her gift. She feels alone and kinda abandoned in Maine, with Samuel being detached and distant and Jacob hiding from his past. Can this new run down orchard be the answer to all their prayers? Or the one thing that destroys every prayer for a new beginning the have?
Cindy Woodsmall does a great job at writing about the Amish and English world and has them mixing. Her writing is realistic and well written. She writes characters that continue to grow with each book and I can't wait to read more about the characters and the path she is leading them down in book 3.
Thank you blogging for books for allowing me to review The Winnowing Season.