Monday, October 26, 2015

A Season for Tending By Cindy Woodsmall

A Season for Tending
(Amish Vines and Orchards Series Book One)
By Cindy Woodsmall

Every fall, I enjoy reading Amish themed books. It will come as no surprise that while at our local library, I saw A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall was available for checkout. Moreover, the book was the recorded audio version. This was perfect since I am still up to my neck with handmade gifts for Christmas to complete. Normally, I am a hardcore Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstetter Amish themed reading fan. However, I have already purchased book two of Amish Vines and Orchard series. 

I was so hooked on Amish books, my son told the nun at his school he was Amish.

My son dressed up as Amish with our Librarian and Oreo as his chicken.

Narrated by Stina Nielson, the reader/listener is captivated into the story of Rhoda Byler who has a mysterious gift. The gift is also connected with her sister’s death and many others in the area. Her isolation from the community provides her with time to cultivate and tend to her fruits and herbs sold with her “Roadside Stands.” Nevertheless, some are ready to destroy her and all that she cares for. Meanwhile, at King’s Orchard, Samuel has his hands full with a demanding, jealous girlfriend, a younger sister in her rumschpringe years, a brother who has returned home not sharing where he has been, and a farm on the verge of financial ruin. 

A Season for Tending is a heartwarming book with subtle truths of interpersonal relationships, individual struggles, and creating solutions. It also hints on the underestimated value that woman and the roles that culture and society often place on them. The action is fast paced and one can easily finish A Season for Tending during a weekend. Woman between the ages of 14 to 99 will appreciate this book the most. I valued the gentle and thoughtful way the author touches on sexual relationships and emotional struggles that each character has. Even Samuel has a moment that he too will develop toward the last 25% of the novel. 

The best part for me is that help and growth often comes with the connections that we harvest within our own community. Who hasn’t felt unwanted or that they are not loved? Cindy Woodsmall creates an amazing story that demonstrates how we each can gain wisdom and grow what is needed to reap the harvest within no matter what happens in our lives.

My favorite quote was when Leah stated,

“Pretty is as pretty does" was a stupid cliché in her estimation. Pretty is what God does in the hearts and minds of people who are a mess-whether outwardly or inwardly or both.”

The ending does leave you hanging but I was completely satisfied as a reader. I give my highest recommendation for A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall. I also give my highest rating to Stina Nielson for her reading. 

"Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.

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."



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