Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Season for Tending-Cindy Woodsmall

 I just finished my ARC of A Season for Tending, the Book 1 in Cindy Woodsmall's
Amish Vines and Orchards series.

 From the back cover:
In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda’s odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved garden?
Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler’s unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda’s “gift” is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business.
Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family’s apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable.
Meanwhile, Samuel’s younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda’s garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah’s poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions.
Rhoda’s expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn’t trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?

You can read the first chapter here.

My review:
When Rhoda was seven years old her father gave her and her older sisters a blueberry bush and a herb plant. Her sisters had other thing to do, but Rhoda (Rhodes) loved and tended hers with care, so
her father gave her a new bush, herb or gardening tool for her birthday and Christmas each year.
The story centers around her gift for growing her fruit and her "gift" of feeling things  before they happen. When this happens she hears the words in her sister Emma's voice.

I loved how the Lord led the King family into her life and the lessons they learned along the way.
She met Samuel King at a time when he did not at first realize the impact she would have on his family and business. Samuel thought because she was a women that she had no opinions or strengths of her own. She proved she was strong in so many ways and was able to help Samuel to better understand his sister Leah.

One of my favorite parts of the book were the herbal remedies that were given.  I also enjoyed the lesson in fruit harvesting and care.

I found this to be a very enjoyable read and loved learning more about Amish culture. It also
helped me to see that the Amish at times struggle just like we do.  Even though they all went through
hardships in the book they were able to go forward and learn from it. This  is one of those books that you simply don't want to put down because the characters is so utterly likable, and as human as you or I.  I look forward to reading the  rest of the series as they are released.  I would love to see this book series made into a movie.
I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers  provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not paid to review this book and give my honest opinion of each book I read.

 I pre-ordered the next book in the series. The Winnowing Season: Book Two in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series

You can purchase A Season for Tender at:
Barnes & Noble

 Cindy Woodsmall website
More Info
 Read Chapter One
  Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of ten works of fiction and one work of nonfiction, whose connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media and throughout Christian news outlets. She lives outside Atlanta with her family.

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