Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall

A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall

Summary by Goodreads:
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?

Read November 2012

5 Stars

My Review:
I am now officially obsessed with the Amish people.  I want to learn all about them and their culture after reading this book.

I grew up in Maryland and we often traveled to areas of Pennsylvania where we saw Amish and Mennonite people.  As a kid I always found them interesting and I've even taken my children to Lancaster, PA to a "touristy" Amish community (with shops selling their goods, a restaurant, photo opportunities, etc.).  

Lately on TV, there has been a show about Amish young adults who are going through a time of self discovery, do they want to be Amish or do they want to leave what they've known all their lives.  I have not watched this show.  However, I have heard others post about it on Facebook.  I am a little saddened to see these youth exploited at such a vulnerable time in their lives.  Reading about their culture in this book has increased my emotions toward them.

Now, I don't know how accurate the depiction is of the Amish culture since this is a fiction book, but I could tell the author had done a lot of research and was trying her best to be true to the culture she was writing about.

A Season for Tending is a fiction book that takes place in an Amish community, with both Amish and Englisch (non-Amish) characters.  I was drawn in by the characters, their stories, as well as their culture.  I was carried away in this book.  It is the first in a series called "Amish Vines and Orchards" and unfortunately the next book doesn't come out until sometime next year.  This book wrapped up the immediate story, but left off with quite a cliff hanger.  I want to find out what happens next!

Warnings: Teen drinking and sex mentioned

I would let my 14 year old read this book.

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