If you are wanting a book where all the loose ends get tied up in a neat, story-book ending and everyone lives happily ever after . . . well, you might want to try something else. But, if you're looking for an engaging story filled with complex characters trying to find their way through joys and struggles to follow their dreams and God's direction . . . Cindy Woodsmall's A Season for Tending could be just the one!
Rhoda Byler is a young woman with a "gift" that causes her problems with others in her Old Order Amish community and with her Englisch neighbors. And she struggles with guilt over the death of her younger sister. Her only source of real joy is in the fruits and herbs she grows for her canning business, and she runs the risk of losing those.
Samuel King -- along with his brothers Jacob and Eli -- is running his family's apple orchard, and keeping it profitable has become a formidable challenge. Irresponsible actions, family secrets, and natural tragedies make the job grow more and more difficult.
Samuel's younger sister Leah is pushing all limits during her rumschpringe and trying the patience of her family members. When she wakes up in Rhoda's garden after a night of bad partying, one thing leads to another in forming a connection between Kings' Orchard and Rhode Side Stands.
As always, Cindy Woodsmall has written a great story. Taking her husband's family history with apple orchards as a setting for an intriguing Amish story was a perfect way to blend two things in which you can feel her passion. Her characters and plot keep you moving at a pace that is unpredictable and exciting. And there are many unanswered questions that make the wait well worthwhile for the next installment in the Amish Vines and Orchards series. I definitely give A Season for Tending a five star rating!
As a special bonus, there are a couple of recipes in the back of the book, courtesy of Sherry Gore, an author, editor and member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church in Sarasota, Florida.
(This book was provided free of charge by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.)