The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

Margaret Kerr

3.5 Stars

September 3, 2012

While I'm not a big reader of Amish Fiction like my mother is, I saw this book and decided that I wanted to read it. I loved the premise of the forbidden love between Aeden and Annie and by the end of the first chapter of the story, I was sucked in. I could not put the book down at all until I was finished. Now for me to get sucked in, you know the story has to be well written.

I loved the way the story was crafted around Annie's previous visits to her grandfather to build a history with her and Aeden when they were younger. I loved the realism of the argument between Annie and her mother that set up her leaving to stay with her grandfather. With that said, there were a lot of little things that bugged me about the story. I found there to be contradictions to things that I've known to be true of the Amish. I realize that every community has different rules that they follow and that some are more lenient than others, but it felt as if some of the basic tenets were set aside for the sake of the story. I think the biggest draw to the story for me was how identifiable the characters were for all readers, not just those who identify the most with the Amish and Mennonite lifestyle. I think that anyone who picked the book up would be able to identify with Aeden and his stuttering problem, Roman feeling broke and Annie's feeling lost because of her family dysfunction. Many readers would also be able to identify with Annie's mother, being a single mother, trying to raise all her children right.

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