25 April 2014

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

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As love restores Rhoda, a sudden tragedy is the test of faith she never saw coming.

More settled in her heart than ever before, Rhoda Byler feels a newfound confidence living in the Old Order Amish settlement she helped establish in Orchard Bend, Maine. Time has helped to heal the wounds of Rhoda’s recent severed relationship, and she finds that even her unusual gift of profound intuition is less of a burden as she continues to seek God’s wisdom for her future. She is happy to be working alongside the King family and the love of her life as they tend and nurture the settlement’s orchard.

Yet when Leah King’s involvement with Englischer Landon Olson becomes known outside of the Maine community, her disregard of the Ordnung could threaten all the Orchard Bend Amish are building. In the midst of addressing the discord, a shocking tragedy challenges the young settlement like never before, threatening to uproot Rhoda’s peace and the future of everything she holds dear.

When several members of Orchard Bend Farms are displaced, the estranged King brother is called upon to return. Can those who founded the new Amish community in Maine unite Or will the lingering pain of past hurts and present struggles result in the end of their dreams?

[Now, I know in a previous review, for Murder Simply Brewed, I mentioned my general rule against reading Amish fiction. However, in light of my enjoyment of that novel, I decided I might need to give the genre a bit more of a chance. When I saw Seasons of Tomorrow available for review, I found my opportunity. Not one to jump into the middle of a series, I started at the beginning of Cindy Woodsmall's Amish Vines and Orchards series with A Season for Tending (find chapter one here) and moved to The Winnowing Season and For Every Season (find chapter one here) before reading Seasons of Tomorrow.]

Having read the three previous books in the “Amish Vines and Orchards” series, I have to admit I was a bit nervous (though excitedly so) to see how Cindy Woodsmall decided to conclude the series in Seasons of Tomorrow. After all the drama these characters already faced, I couldn't imagine a satisfying ending – especially in light of the hardships still to face. Yet, Woodsmall surprised me. In the midst of the nail-biting, sitting-on-the-edge-of-my-seat drama, I caught glimpses of the hope-filled, end-result possibilities. What a ride. The ending left me giddy, feeling a bit bittersweet to let go of these captivating characters I had grown to know and love, and I couldn't be more pleased. I would definitely recommend this novel – and this series – and cannot wait to read more from Cindy Woodsmall. As per usual, I appreciate WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing for providing me with a copy of this novel to read and review honestly.

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