My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“A Season for Tending” is the first book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series by Cindy Woodsmall. So far I have enjoyed every single book I’ve ever read by the author and this book was no exception to that. There’s a certain standard I have come to expect from Cindy and that is:
1. Characters you can fall in love with.
2. Wisdom interwoven into the very fabric of her stories.
3. Edgy and unique storyline.
In this book we meet a young lady named Rhoda Byler. As an Old Order Amish, you would expect Rhoda to be a fairly typical girl looking for love. However, Rhoda has an unusual gift — at times she has seen into the future, certainly not an attribute you would think of a typical Amish girl! Her “intuition” has helped many people but she failed to help the person that mattered the most to her in the world, her sister. In the attempts to save her sister from being in a terrible accident, Rhoda exposed her secret and now many of her community fear her. They fear that she practices witchcraft and tend to ridicule and harass her. For that she has isolated herself in her garden, tending to beloved plants that offer no condemnation.
Through a strange course of events, Rhoda meets the King family. The Kings own an orchard that is struggling and Samuel, the oldest of the King boys, is confident that Rhoda can save their orchard and thus save their family from financial ruin. Though she declines at first, a personal setback causes her to reconsider and in doing so she finds herself developing a strange connection with the entire family.
“Sometimes what keeps a relationship from shattering is minding your own business and enjoying what does exist between the two of you”
I don’t want to spill too much about this story because it really is a fantastic story and I’d rather you discover it yourself. But let me say that the characters are wonderfully written. I love characters that evoke emotion in a reader. I found myself being frustrated with Samuel when Rhoda would express irritation with him. I felt sympathy for Jacob and I might would admit to a book-crush on his character if you pressed the issue enough. I didn’t really get to know Eli that much but I’m sure I will get to know him more in later installments. As for Leah, I adored this girl! Her character is struggling to find herself and gets into a bit of trouble at first but towards the end I kept secretly hoping she would get with Rhoda’s friend, Landon. I’ll be excited to see if my prediction of those two as a couple happens in the future. Too bad Rhoda isn’t here to feel things out for me, right?
This story is truly unique. I wasn’t really expecting a simplistic ghost story in an Amish book. It was so well written and it was a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t written as a paranormal/typical ghost story and I’ll be excited to see how the entire plot is wrapped up. Although, I have a feeling I will be sad to say goodbye to these characters when the time comes! So there you have it…my stamp of approval and a recommendation for anyone that loves Amish fiction!
About the Author
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written six novels, three novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work of nonfiction coauthored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. She’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.
Coming April 2013–Book Two! The Winnowing Season
I received A Season for Tending as a complimentary gift in exchange for an honest review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. My comments and opinions are my own.