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.
What I thought:
The Winnowing Season is book 2 in the Amish Vines and Orchard Series, and my second Amish book ever. If you read my review of book 1 you’ll know that I was kind of surprised to really like it. There were portions of this book that were slower than I normally like. However, I should be truthful and say that most of the books I normally read are of a much faster variety. A lot of the stuff that has to do with Amish tradition still got me and sort of broke up the story for me. I found that it sort of distracted me because I spent so much time being annoyed with that. It was almost like it got in the way of the story and it didn’t make sense to me. Some things are so Amish, and then other parts of the story just didn’t follow that same vein. I still am committed to continuing on with the series because I just want to know what happens next. So, to that end Ms. Woodsmall has done her job! The hardest part for me was the Jacob storyline. It became really frustrating, but I just don’t want to give away too much of the story to elaborate on that. All I will say is that it is quite emotionally taxing. The characters are developed well and you learn so much about the Amish culture, which I find extremely fascinating.
3 out of 5 Stars
I received this book in partnership with WaterBrook/Multnomah Publishing and Blogging for Books. I was not compensated in any other way. And, as always, my views and opinions are my own. Take them or leave them.
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?
What I Thought:
This was the first time I have ever read an Amish book. It wasn’t that I particularly shied away from them, I just never really found one that I wanted to buy. When the opportunity came to read one I jumped on it. I feel really lame in same, “oh my goodness I loved it so much,” but that’s sort of what i feel like saying. I really really did. The characters were really endearing, real, and complex. They didn’t come off as stuffy or unrelatable. What they experienced and how they handled those experiences was something that I could see in my own life; and anyone else’s for that matter. That is important thing for me when I’m reading a book. I generally like books where I am drawn into the story in such a way, that I feel for the characters on a personal level. Like, maybe I could be in their world. Much to my happiness it is the first book in a series, and I can’t wait to get my hand on “The Winnowing Season”. Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars Where can you get it: $11.99 kindle version (which I read on the Kindle App on my iPhone)
you can snag a paperback version for around $11.00 on Amazon **Disclaimer – I received this book in my partnership with Blogging for Books and Multnomah Publishing. I was not compensated in any other way.