Thursday, May 1, 2014

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

From the publisher:
More settled in her heart than ever before, Rhoda Byler feels a newfound confidence living in the Old Order Amish settlement she helped establish in Orchard Bend, Maine. Time has helped to heal the wounds of Rhoda’s recent severed relationship, and she finds that even her unusual gift of profound intuition is less of a burden as she continues to seek God’s wisdom for her future. She is happy to be working alongside the King family and the love of her life as they tend and nurture the settlement’s orchard.

Yet when Leah King’s involvement with Englischer Landon Olson becomes known outside of the Maine community, her disregard of the Ordnung could threaten all the Orchard Bend Amish are building. In the midst of addressing the discord, a shocking tragedy challenges the young settlement like never before, threatening to uproot Rhoda’s peace and the future of everything she holds dear.

When several members of Orchard Bend Farms are displaced, the estranged King brother is called upon to return. Can those who founded the new Amish community in Maine unite Or will the lingering pain of past hurts and present struggles result in the end of their dreams?


This is the fourth and final book in the Amish Vines and Orchard series.  This book is not a stand-alone book.  I highly recommend that if you are going to read this book, that you get all four of the books together and read them in a row.  This series has a complex maze of characters and situations which are much easier to understand and follow if you read the books right after one another.  That being said, the author did do a good job of recapping the previous books at the beginning of this book.

This series is probably the most complex Amish series I've read.  There is so much going on in each book.  That is a good and bad thing.  By the fourth book I felt that there were too many little side-stories.  While Samuel and Rhoda are the central characters the book also spends time focusing on Leah, Landon, Jacob, Steven, and Phoebe.  

I felt a little bit of disappointment in how Rhoda's "gift" was dealt with and explained.  In the previous books it played such a big part, and in this one it seemed that it was there and sort of explained--but not enough.

I did really like the way Cindy Woodsmall developed Leah's character and decisions.  I enjoyed the growth of all the main characters about forgiveness, righteousness, beliefs, etc.  This was very well done.  Sometimes with Amish fiction it seems that you are just led to believe it is okay to shun people or make them follow the rules set by the bishop and leaders, but this book allowed the characters to really think for themselves.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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