In the series, Cyndi Woodsmall has created complicated characters living complicated lives in a new community of Amish and she manages to keep the reader on his toes right up the final pages. While it is not necessary to read these books in order, it definitely does help to do so. I believe a 4th in the series is due out in Spring 2014. I look forward to reading it.
Now in book 3, For Every Season, our characters siblings Leah, Samuel & Jacob King, Rhoda Byler, gifted horticulturalist and possessor of a sense of second sight, and London Olsen continue to bring to life an orchard and establish a new Amish community in the Maine area.
Jacob remains a very complicated character whose past continues to intrude hindering his relationship with Rhoda. Samuel loves Rhoda and respects the relationship blossoming between Jacob and Rhoda - at least most of the time.
I look forward to seeing where life will take these hard working young Amish and with whom each of them will share their lives.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy review to facilitate this review. No compensation was received for this review and I was not expected to provide a positive review.
The Kings Orchard, Maine is on its way to being established. But the problems they face are not only with getting the apple trees prepared for unexpected frost.
There's also a cold front in the household. Rhoda Byler, dedicated horticulturist is still reeling from the kiss received from Samuel King - part owner of the farm. The other person to share ownership is Jacob, the one that the young Amish woman is seeing. And to make matters worse, Jacob and Samuel are brothers. What possessed Samuel to tell Jacob of the stolen kiss?
As tension builds between the three farm owners each must battle with their guilt, responsibilities to the farm and family as well as their own ambitions.
Moving out and living with their Englisher neighbors, Rhonda is forced to confront her gift - the heightened intuition that made her become a distrusted person in her Pennsylvania (Amish) community. Why can she sense that Camilla has a granddaughter despite the older woman saying no. Any why does her dead sister, Emma, always appear when Samuel is around?
With determination Rhonda will see things through to Harvest. But with so many obstacles in the way, will her God given gift help her see the way? And can she really make the difficult decision that Jacob has asked her to make?
The third installment of this series moves the story forward of the lives of Rhoda, her family and friends beautifully. Who would have imagined that she would find herself torn between her love of horticulture and the two Kings' brothers? Woodsmall's characters continue to develop and grow in a quiet and unassuming way yet still captivating and intriguing. Besides the main characters, the subplots of other family members creates an extra level of enjoyment.
Another excellent 'chapter' in the Vines and Orchard collection. It was exciting to find out what happened next in this complex love story. Along with questioning faith, loyalty and trust, the book explores the perhaps controversial issue of Rhoda's 'gift' from God. I'm sure there are many Christians that would say seeing ghosts/having second sight is not anything to do with God. But I find the author has handled this subject sensitively. The series isn't rushed and it moves along at a steady pace without losing any impact (or causing boredom!). Looking forward to Book 4! A highly recommended read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press as part of the Blogging for Books program. The opinions expressed here are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.
Rhoda Byler has a heightened intuition causing her to have premonitions, visions and hearing the voice of her sister Emma, who was murdered a few years earlier. In a new chapter in her life helping restore an abandoned apple orchard and establish a new Amish community in Maine, Rhoda hopes to escape the ghosts of her past. Rhoda has had an ongoing relationship with Jacob King, who is drawn out of her life more often than into it due to serious troubles as a result of his past. His brother, Samuel, and Rhoda have trouble meeting eye to eye where business decisions regarding the orchard come into play, but Samuel's respect and admiration for Rhoda has turned his head, and as he succumbs to kissing Rhoda, Jacob appears once again. Jacob is infuriated with his brother for kissing Rhoda, and throughout the story the brothers are at odds with each other. When an Indiana Amish girl is hired to help with the paperwork at the farm Rhoda is forced to move in with an Englisch couple. Rhoda loves the peace and beauty of her surroundings in the orchard, and looks forward to canning the fruits of her labors, but her future there is threatened by Jacob's jealousy over the kiss that Samuel and Rhoda shared. His jealous accusations and insecurities cause continuing stress for Rhoda.
Numerous characters are involved in this book, the third in a series. I received the book without having the opportunity to read the two previous books in the series, and found it hard to sort out all of the characters at first. Cindy Woodsmall is an artist at depicting a beautiful portrait of the locale in this book, and I easily envisioned the beautiful countryside with the orchard developing throughout the spring and summer months as the story develops. The main characters are very well defined to the point that I was constantly frustrated with Jacob and his penchant for running off to "take care of his self-imposed issues" at Rhoda's expense. I became irritated with Rhoda for her indecisive and spineless nature in her relationship with Jacob, dropping everything at Jacob's insistence in order to please him. This book is well written, but I would not recommend it as a stand-alone novel. There is too much information based on the previous books in the series, and the story ends rather abruptly as a sequel is to follow. I would love to read the entire series of books in order to have the advantage of the long-range advancement of character development and evolving plot developments.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Cindy Woodsmall did not disappoint with the third book of the Amish Vines and Orchards Series. Even though you thought you knew which way the end would go, something would happen to shake that thought. The continuing story of Rhoda is definitely a must for your reading list.
Who is the right person for Rhoda? Sometimes it is really hard to answer this question. You will find the answer at the end of book three, at least I think that will be the answer.
I will say, though, that there are still a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the book. But this is not a negative since the author has said that there will be a book four. I have my ideas and it will be great to see if they match the thinking of the author.
If you like a book with a little mystery along with some romance, you should read this series.
This book was furnished to me at no cost for the purpose of this review