Book Review: The Winnowing Season

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
7:42 pm

The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall, is book number two in the author’s most recent series, Amish Vines and Orchards. The third book, For Every Season, will be released in September. The Winnowing Season picks up where we left off in A Season for Tending (book number one).

Rhoda Byler has joined ranks with the King brothers, Samuel and Jacob, in a business venture following the destruction of Rhoda’s beloved garden. Having already made a name for herself with her herbal teas, and homemade jams and preserves, Rhoda agrees to merge her business with King’s Orchard. The King family will continue to grow and harvest apples, and Rhoda will can apple jellies, apple butter, and the like with the names of both businesses on the labels. At the end of the first book, a devastating tornado has swept through, decimating King’s orchard, ultimately leading to the decision by one and all to move the enterprise to an abandoned apple orchard in Maine, where they will not only begin again, but will start a new Amish settlement. Rhoda and Jacob have begun courting, but unbeknownst to either one, Samuel realizes he has growing romantic feelings for Rhoda.

In The Winnowing Season we find all members of the household - Rhoda, her brother and his wife and their children, Samuel, Jacob, and their sister, Leah – along with Rhoda’s friend and employee, Landon, who lives with his grandmother nearby, working tirelessly to prepare the orchard as best they can for the oncoming winter, and more importantly, for the growing season to follow. Naturally, tensions run high from overwork and far too little sleep. During this critical time, Jacob’s secret past comes back to haunt him, demanding his time and attention, leaving his workload to be carried by the others. Rhoda feels Jacob’s absence keenly in both the additional chores and in the lack of emotional support. What arises are a number of issues, any one of which could ruin the small settlement’s chances for success.

Will Jacob be able to escape the secrets that keep him tied to his past? Will Leah break free from the Amish life, or decide there is much to gain by following the old ways? Will Samuel conquer the impossible love he feels for Rhoda, or will he find a way to win her without losing the brother he loves in the process? Will the fledgling settlement survive?

Cindy Woodsmall has become the Queen of the Cliffhangers! She takes us along on her
Due to release September 17, 2013
characters’ journeys, and we grow to genuinely like them and feel their angst and their joy. She brings us to moments that could change everything, then steps away and forces us to wait to learn the rest of the story with the release of the next installment. Woodsmall paints a lavish canvas with her words, and weaves a lovely tapestry of emotion. In reviewing the previous book in this series, I stated “
my hands are begging to turn the pages of the next book in Cindy’s newest series, Amish Vines and Orchards.” I feel the same way after reading the second in the series. And while as a teacher, I would never wish away my summer, at least I have a wonderful new book to look forward to reading in September.

Another beautiful read, Cindy Woodsmall! Thank you so much! 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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