I recently finished reading A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall. It is the first book in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series.
I've read other books by Cindy Woodsmall before and her newest book definitely did not disappoint. Rhoda Byler is an Old Order Amish woman with remarkable abilities to grow fruits and herbs, to can, and to run a business. She also has a gift that makes other Amish in her community suspicious and frightened.
Samuel King is an Amish man who is trying to maintain the profitability of his family's apple orchard. A chance encounter between Samuel's sister Leah and Rhoda leads to an unlikely business partnership between Rhoda and the King family. Despite Rhoda's uniqueness or perhaps because of it, she is quickly embraced by Samuel, Jacob (Samuel's brother), Leah, and the rest of the King family and they become business partners and friends.
This book was wonderful. It was realistic with just a touch of suspense. The characters in the novel are not perfect, nor are their lives. The plot is full of twists and turns, joys and tragedies - much like life itself. Rhoda, Jacob, and most of the other characters are struggling to work through fears from the past that hinder their ability to move into the future with confidence.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was that everything was not tidied up into a box with a neat little bow. There is uncertainty about how many of the situations will be resolved...but we will have to wait for the next book in the series to see what happens next. This book is full of feeling and emotion and deals with real life issues that most of us can relate to. If you'd like to read part of the first chapter, you can read it here.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.