“A Season for Tending” by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is writing an Amish series called Amish Vines and Orchards. I have just finished reading the first book of the series, “A Season for Tending”, and I cannot wait until the next books of the series are published. I really enjoy Amish stories and lore, and I must say that this book is one of my favorites so far. I was so intrigued by the different storylines running through the book that I was loathe putting this book down, and yet wanted to extend my reading time in order to savor every word and not be done with the book. I thought the multiple stories intertwined were written so seamlessly that I hardly knew when I passed from one to the other.

The story begins with Rhoda Byer tending her garden of herbs and berries. She has her own business and cans the fruits of her labors to sell at various outlets. She is blessed (or cursed) with the ability to foresee disasters, but not in time to avert them. She is haunted by the spirit of her dead sister, whose death she blames on herself. Other people in the community pick up on this gift and think that she is a witch or at least that she touches the occult with her various teas and ointments prepared from her herb garden. This brings many sorrows her way and repercussions from the most ignorant in the community of the Amish and Englishers.

Meanwhile, Samuel King and his brothers Jacob and Eli tend the King Apple Orchards. Each brother is in charge of a third of the orchard. When a tragic mistake threatens the future of the King Orchards, Samuel looks for ways to salvage what they can and carry on as before. Rhoda has met the family after she helps their sister Leah during her Rumschpringe. They admire Rhoda for her business acumen and her way with growing things. They seek to form an alliance between her and their business. While planning and discussing the viability of the merger, all sorts of happenings occur to family members from both the Kings and the Bylers.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I give it five stars and will keep this book in my library. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


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