The Scent Of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

Annie Martin and Aden Zook had been friends for five years. They first met when Annie helped out at Zook's Diner when she was 15 years old. Aden's father and twin brother, Roman, were in a farming accident. They couldn't work at the diner for awhile so Annie filled in. Annie's grandfather, Moses Burkholder, co-owned the diner with the Zook's. Whenever Annie visited her grandfather in Apple Ridge, PA, she would also see the Zook's, and make sure to spend time with Aden.

Annie had returned to Apple Ridge because she and her mother were having trouble getting along. It seemed to Annie that she was the only one in her family that still followed their beliefs. Annie's father left them nine years before and they began to slowly fall apart and away from their upbringing.

Once again, help was needed at Zook's Diner and Annie willingly gave her time. Gideon and Mattie needed to feed the out of town guests that came for their wedding. Zook's Diner filled that need. This made the diner a very busy place to work, especially with Roman out of town.

Roman had gone to his Uncle Ernie's in Lancaster to help fix a generator. More than doing the repair, his family hoped he got his confidence back. Since the farming accident, he had been in a wheelchair and felt unsure of himself. Roman met up again with Marian Lee while there, it seemed she liked him. He decided she just felt sorry for him because he was a paraplegic.

Annie was determined to get Aden talking more. Because he stuttered, he often didn't say a lot. The more they worked together, the closer they got. Aden's stuttering became less. Aden and Annie began to spend time together after work at her grandfather's cherry tree orchard. They also began to fall in love. There was only one problem with their relationship - Annie was Mennonite and Aden was Amish. They knew they couldn't be together without serious repercussions from their family and churches.

Do Annie and Aden follow their upbringing and not date someone from outside their faith? Or do they following their hearts and continue their relationship? Although Roman's broken body can't be changed, can his broken spirit? Read The Scent Of Cherry Blossoms to find out.

I think many people assume that Mennonites and Amish are very much the same. Reading this book will show you that they are not interchangeable. An Amish person dating a Mennonite person is not allowed, and vise versa. Annie and Aden weren't compromising their relationship with God when they chose to become more than friends. But they did compromise the beliefs/traditions of their families and churches. Cindy Woodsmall shows us that we should be less concerned about what others with think of us. We need to focus on following God and doing what He thinks is right. I like that Cindy Wooodsmall put characters from another book in this story. Gideon and Mattie are from The Christmas Singing, you can read my review here. I really liked Annie. She choose to still follow God, while her mother and siblings chose to follow ways that were hurting them. This book can be read quickly and is enjoyable. I would recommend reading it.

Read Chapter 1 Excerpt here.

Visit Cindy's website here.

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.

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