Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Winnowing Season ~ Amish Vines and Orchards, Book 2, by Cindy Woodsmall

About Book

The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?

On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.

Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?

  • ISBN-13: 9780307730046
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/2013
  • Series: Amish Vines and Orchards Series , #2
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Where to buy:  AmazonBarnes&NobleCBD

About Author

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written six novels, three novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work of nonfiction coauthored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. She’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.

She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband, three sons, two daughters-in-law, and a new granddaughter.

Author's website:

My Thoughts

Rhoda Byler is ready to start over again this time right outside Unity, Maine. They are to start a new Amish community and there is so much to do before they make the move, which is in the morning.  First thing she has to do is go back to her hometown community to have a meeting with the Bishop of the church to address  accusation against a man in her church for destroying her garden which was her livelihood.  She was not even the person to accuse him to the Bishop.  She has Samuel King to thank for that.  Now there was a big chance she would not get permission to move.  It always seemed to get turned back around to being her fault.  Not many see her intuitions as a gift.

Jacob King openly loves Rhoda and Samuel King hides the feelings he has for her to himself.   If Rhoda does not get permission to move then they will have lost everything.   Both men see Rhoda as the key to the Kings' Orchard success.

They all seem to have something to hide and a lot of healing is required.  Will they turn all their worries over to God? They need to trust that God holds the blueprint for their lives.

In book two the author pulls you right back to Rhoda and her search for reconciliation and acceptance from her family and community.  The character Rhoda is given a little taste of what happiness can fill like yet realizes that it can be taken from her at anytime or place. The story compares in parts to the book of Job.

The books in Amish Vines and Orchards series have been fast reads for me mainly because I did not want to put the books down. So now I am anxious  and ready to read book three.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Press/Blogging for Books for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.

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