Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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

The Winnowing Season  This is an enjoyable story about Rhoda, the King brothers, and a few other young Amish adults who decide to form a new community in another state.  First, Rhoda's garden is destroyed, then a tornado finishes off the orchard belonging to the Kings.  They decide to move to Maine to start a new community and try to restore a run-down orchard there.  Rhoda has always been an outsider, ever since her community found out that she sees and hears things others don't.  They don't believe it's from God and the bishop and his nephew, especially, are very suspicious of her.  When Samuel King tells the bishop that someone destroyed her garden, she's furious because this will give the elders the opportunity to question her publicly.  This happens the evening before they are to leave and almost blocks her opportunity for a fresh start.

Jacob King, Rhoda's boyfriend, is running from his past out in the English world.  He made some bad choices and has people looking for him, along with a woman and child he feels responsible for.  He wants to make it right, but must leave Rhoda to do it.  Will he decide to keep running or face up to the consequences?  What will his choice mean for their relationship?  Meanwhile, Rhoda is confused by Samuel's attitude towards her just when she needs an ally.  She feels everything is going wrong after she hears voices and then is accused of a crime she didn't commit.  Will the truth come out or will the new community's reputation be ruined?

I haven't read book one of this series yet, so I was a bit lost reading book two.  It helped a lot having a summary at the beginning about what happened in book one, but I still want to read it to discover how Rhoda met the Kings.  Jacob frustrated me and I wanted better for Rhoda at times.  I could understand his struggle, though, and the same goes for Samuel.  It was a little weird when Rhoda heard voices and saw things, especially her dead sister, though it's pointed out that it's her guilty conscience and that it's not really her sister.  That gave the story a darker feel to it, which I did like because it was a nice change from a lot of the Amish fiction.  I really liked most of the characters and especially that Rhoda and Leah are such strong women.  It was interesting to see that also in the Amish setting.  I liked that Leah's struggle is shown about whether to remain Amish and also how important faith is to some of the characters while others still seemed to be searching.  The story is going to be continued in book three, due out shortly, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

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