In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda’s odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved garden?
Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler’s unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda’s “gift” is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business.
Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family’s apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable.
Meanwhile, Samuel’s younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda’s garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah’s poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions.
Rhoda’s expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn’t trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?
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My 12-year old daughter’s thoughts: This is an excellent book, and I enjoyed it very much. I feel Cindy Woodsmall has really captured the characters’ feelings and emotions throughout the book.
I read the first chapter and found myself unable to put the book down. I just could not wait to find out what happened to Rhoda, Leah, and Samuel. This has been one of the best books Cindy Woodsmall has written yet. I can not wait for the next book in the series!
A Season For Tending will be a great book for all you Amish-lovers out there.
My thoughts: The author is a wonderful storyteller and the book was fast moving with lots of twists and turns in it. I was disappointed to know that the story was not even close to being resolved at the end of this book. I usually like there to be some closure but there were a lot of loose ends for book two in the series to tie up.
I was a little taken aback by the amount of worldliness that had infiltrated into this Amish community. I guess part of me was interested that the Amish portrayed in this story were not perfect and holy in every way, as is easy to assume of this group of people. Just like anyone, anywhere, we all make mistakes and fall short of Godly perfection, however, I felt like there were excessive slantings towards these negative behaviors. Maybe in the next books, the author will show these characters the error of their ways and I’m sure all will end well, but it just wasn’t my favorite portrayal of the Amish people.
I know that this author is a favorite of many readers and I have read two novelettes of hers and they were both short and sweet and I did enjoy them. The story itself was solid, but I just had little nigglings that it was not a preferred reading for me. I’m sure many have and many will continue to delight in this story, just not me.
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