The Winnowing Season is book two in the Amish Vines and Orchards series. It starts out with a recap of A Season for Tending, which I appreciated since I would not have known what was going on without that help. The main characters are Rhoda Byler and the two brothers who love her, Samuel and Jacob King. In book one, the Kings' apple orchard and their community was devastated by a tornado. Rhoda, her brother's family, and the Kings are moving to Maine from Pennsylvania to start over in an abandoned orchard and begin a new Amish community as other relatives join them. Rhoda is in partnership with the Kings because of her horticulture experience and canning expertise. Jacob has many secrets from his past, which still have a grip on his life, causing him to be absent from the workload and his relationship with Rhoda every time she needs him. Samuel is always there, steady, interfering, and usually in conflict with Rhoda.
The very sad part of this book to me is that the characters want to please God, but think pleasing God is all wrapped up in obeying the church leaders and the written and unwritten code of the Amish. I don't get the sense that anyone has a personal relationship with Jesus as Savior.
At the end of the book, none of the conflicts have been resolved. Obviously, at least one more book is upcoming. I am a fan of Cindy Woodsmall on Facebook and this week, she asked what color of wedding dress Rhoda should have; so I assume the next book will resolve the triangle love situation in this one.
I received this e-book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.
The Winnowing Season picks up where A Season for Tending leaves off. But the hope for a new beginning in Maine is clouded when on the eve of their move Rhoda is called to appear before the church elders and Jacob's past calls him away.
With such a start what does Maine hold for the King and Byler families?
As trouble follows them from Pennsylvania to Orchard Bend, Maine Rhoda begins to wonder why she seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. As Rhoda struggles with trying to ignore her gift she also has to deal with Jacob's absence and Samuel's distant behavior.
Samuel is keeping a secret that could destroy what they are trying to create and Jacob's past could destroy the growing relationship he and Rhoda are nurturing. Leah is planning to use this move as a chance spread her wings and to learn more about the English world and she wants Landon's help to do it. As the King siblings and Rhoda try to discover who they really are a new danger threatens to destroy them from the outside.
Can they be true to their promises or will they fall before their testing is completed? Only time will tell....
The Winnowing Season is a fabulous follow-up to A Season of Tending as the characters grow in their relationships with one another. One feels so much for Rhoda as she has to deal with the suspicions of those around her as well as Jacob's absences. Samuel's confusion about his partnership/friendship with Rhoda and his loyalty to his brother are both touching and at time exacerbating in the extreme.
I am looking forward to the third book in the Amish Vines and Gardens series and hope for a happier ending and also answers to Rhoda's intuitions that were plaguing her in regard to her new neighbors. I liked the struggles that these characters were wrestling with as it made them more relatable and sympathetic. Though Jacob really needed to get a backbone a little sooner, in my opinion, in his dealings with Sandra.
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."
Rhoda Byler looks forward to getting a fresh start. Her business partners, Samuel and Jacob King, and she have bought a run down orchard in Maine. They are going to get it up and running again. A few others from their community go with them to start an Amish community there.
Rhoda hopes that her sister's death will no longer haunt her after the move. Or that her intuitions will follow her there. While she feels they are from God they have caused nothing but trouble for her. People fear that she is practising witchcraft.
Jacob has a past from being in the English world that he can't escape. Even after the move, Jacob has to hide because of his past, which threatens to ruin his romantic relationship with Rhoda.
Samuel can't fight what's in his heart. He wants to be loyal to his brother and Rhoda. He's doing his best to keep his feelings to himself, so much that he's hurting his friendship with Rhoda.
The main characters have really changed since the series started. Rhoda is slowly letting Emma go and not even realizing it. Samuel has learned to relax, even if it's only a little. And Jacob is letting his guard down and told Samuel and Rhoda about his time in the English world.
By the end of the book, the orchard is beginning to take shape. Rhoda, Jacob, and Samuel have taken steps to resolve their individual issues only to encounter more problems that have to be worked out. I once again have to patiently wait to read about them in the next book.
Cindy Woodsmall makes me feels like I know the characters in this book. They are all so likeable, even with their faults. I looked forward to reading this story and wasn't disappointed. It is just as good as the first book. I can't wait to find out how everything comes together in the last book of the series.
I received a free copy of this book from The Christian Manifesto and Multnomah/Waterbook in exchange for my honest review.
I picked this particular book because of the author, Cindy Woodsmall. Having just finished the series, Sisters of the Quilt, I was looking forward to another good series. However, I may have set my expectations too high. Just so you know, I still enjoyed this book, however I selected a book that was the second in the series. Unlike my previous luck, I found it difficult to truly understand what all I had missed in the previous book. The second, seemed more like a mish-mash of chatter. Found it a little harder to follow along, and realized that I desperately needed to read the first book in this particular series to understand exactly what was going on. Perhaps to understand the situation between her and her sister Emma.
Another thing I found a bit discerning, is that I kept getting confused about this being a story about Amish primarily. Yes, there were some Englishers mixed in, but not enough to have created such a turmoil in my reading. This was one book that I admit, I did some re-reading to try and understand what I may have missed.
I do look forward to reading the third book in this series, if anything to understand exactly what is going on and where the story is taking us. What Rhoda's situation is with her current insight into things. Her future romance. Those, created enough interest that I want to know what is happening. However, it is unlikely that I would return to this particular series and reread it or recommend to others.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.