Monday, 6 May 2013

The Winnowing Season ( Vines & Orchard : Book 2) Cindy Woodsmall

After suffering a few setbacks - namely vandalized farmland and then a tornado - Rhoda Byler along with Jacob King, his brother Samuel and Rhoda's brother's family, they make the decision to move to Maine.

The speculation of Rhoda's strange actions - she can sense things - doesn't sway Jacob's affection for her. In fact he's more than willing to stand by her side. Samuel, the main business partner with Rhoda is struggling with his emotions. The Byler woman is headstrong and opinionated but has amazing horticultural knowledge. Without her, the orchard in Maine wouldn't survive. Oh and he's fallen in love with her. And try as he does, his feelings just develop.

When an Englisch woman Sandra, from his brief spell outside of the Amish world, suddenly calls asking Jacob for help, the new life he hoped for Rhoda and himself swiftly takes a downward turn. The story he had hidden from everyone has surfaced. How much does he tell Rhoda? Will she understand and want to still make a life with him?

As Sandra's troubles take him away for lengthy periods, Rhoda's thoughts become clouded with voices, music and the phrase 'tell them'. What does it mean? Will she find the answer in Maine? Her support came from Jacob's calming demeanor, but he's hardly around. And why does Samuel, whose friendship she values, seem to keep pushing her away? With so many questions abound, will this new settlement for the Amish prove successful?

Second in the series, Woodsmall's glimpse into the Amish life is complicated, spirited and makes for compulsive reading. Each of her characters are full of life all with their own battle which when brought together in a new Amish settlement seems to pronounce their nuances further. Family life is strong, but strained at times, yet they manage to overcome through their faith and desire to make the orchard succeed.

It took a little time to get into the story as it's a follow on from Book 1 (which I have yet to read) but the author did a good job of giving a synopsis without rewriting the first in the series, so it's not difficult to catch up with. The story line is well thought out, its characters well defined. I enjoyed the interaction between them and the authors style of writing made them seem very real so much so, I was rooting for Samuel and Rhoda to realize their true feelings for each other. The author leaves the story on a cliffhanger - of sorts. But it's still a whole story. A recommended read.

About the author: A New York Times and CBA best selling author of numerous words of fiction, Cindy's connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media and throughout Christian news outlets. Read more

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program part of WaterBrook Multnomah publishers. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive review.

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