A Season for Tending
Book Summary: 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?
Review: I really like Cindy Smallwood’s writing style. While this book took me a little while to get into it was worth the effort. Once I got into the flow of it I was hooked! The characters were fresh and completely different from anything I have read by her. This was a well thought out series and I look forward to the next two. This story made me laugh, cry and realize that Rhoda was truly a fresh face for Amish readers. The Kings were fun and lively. While problems seem to plague all of them Rhoda, Landon and the Kings are realistic and fun. I knew what was coming at the end and I was still hanging on the edge of my seat when the events finally came about. Poor Rhoda really needed the Kings and they needed her. Her Daed was fantastic and truly a great addition to the entire story. I want to see more of him. There are so many different things going on at once that I wished I could read faster. I needed time to soak up everything too!
I would like to thank Edelweiss, Library Thing and Waterbrook Press for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.