Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Season for Tending

by Cindy Woodsmall

WaterBrook Press

Rhoda Byler runs her own canning business in her Old Order Amish community. Her odd ways and eccentric personality however, have caused many to choose to stay away from her as they do not understand her  gift for tending plants and herbs long past their harvest seasons. In an effort to stay away from a community that looks down on her and sees her as a detriment, she keeps her distance as much as possible from the people who observe the Old Ways and nurse superstitious fears. 

An accidental encounter with a girl from the neighboring town of Harvest Mills causes Rhoda to meet the family who own King's Orchard. Samuel is the eldest, and in charge of the orchard, along with brothers Jacob and Eli. A mistake on Eli's part costs them ten acres of good eating apples and leaves behind almost worthless cider apples. When King's Orchard meets Rhode Side Stands, the simple solution to all those cider apples is to can them into products to make a much bigger profit. But will working together really be the answer? Or has Samuel made a mistake that will cost him beloved orchard?

This is the first book I have read by this author, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with this novel. There are so many Amish fiction writers these days, and Woodsmall brings something new, fresh and unexpected to the genre. While the idea of someone being able to see the future is often referred to as being "psychic", this author portrays it just as a simple feeling or emotion; not something that reeks of darker powers and New Age nonsense. A recommended read for anyone who likes something a little different.  

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