Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall

From the publisher: "On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.

Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?"

This is the second Cindy Woodsmall book I've read.  The first was A Season for Tending, which is the first book fo the Amish Vines and Orchard series.  While I enjoyed that book, I think I enjoyed this one more because I already knew and understand the characters.  However, if a reader hasn't read the first book, I recommend reading the other one to set the stage for this book.

The title for the book is a perfect fit.  It is a winnowing season and afterwards you feel like you have been through the winnowing process.  This book leaves a lot hanging...and I cannot wait for September to come so I can read the third book.  I honestly can't figure out how Cindy Woodsmall will decide to conclude certain events but I still can't wait to read it.

Woodsmall has an amazing ability of having you empathize with each of the characters.  Whether is Leah- uncertain about her future, or Samuel- wrestling with his feeling, or Jacob- fighting the dark past and trying to do what is right, or Rhoda-trying to find out what God's will is---each character draws you in.  This is hard to do with a novel that has so many characters but Woodsmall does an amazing job.

Woodsmall also writes Amish living in a way that few other authors can or do.  Her books are not "light-fluffy" reading and nor do they follow the same patterns as many other Amish books.  Her books are written so well and it keeps the reader wanting to know more.

After reading these two books I want to definitely read more by Cindy Woodsmall.

 "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

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