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?
Having recently read some of Cindy Woodsmall's novels, I was very excited about receiving a copy of A Season for Tending! Her characters always seem to live on and off the pages, inspiring me as I read their stories, and Rhoda, Samuel, Leah, Catherine and Eli are prime examples. Everyone has a unique back-story and a distinct personality, but it is the well-plotted circumstances that round out the mix. I loved reading about Rhoda's garden and how it shaped her emotions and experiences - she bloomed throughout the novel, becoming a very strong and well-developed character. As always, the story was written well, and the descriptive language brought me straight into the world of the Amish, stirring up emotions and, in some cases, bringing back memories. Overall, I really enjoyed the story, but the fruit of the story ripened at a very slow pace, and the ending felt unresolved, (no spoilers); hopefully, the second book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series will tie up some of the loose ends.
Rating: Bounty's Out (3.5/5)
*** I received this book from the author (Blogging for Books) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.