A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall

Rhoda Byler had a knack for growing herbs and fruits. Not only was it her livelihood, it was her passion. Besides her family, her only other true friend was Englisher Landon, who worked at her canning business, Rhode Side Stands. Many people in Rhoda's community looked down on her and thought she was strange. She had gut feelings that told her when someone needed help. There were those who even looked at it as witchcraft.

Rhoda encountered a young girl named Leah King in her garden one morning. She discovered that Leah had been to an English party a few doors down. She could see Leah felt like no one cared about her. Leah's older bother, Samuel, traveled from nearby Harvest Mills to pick her up. Rhoda was excited to find that Samuel and his family had an apple orchard. Samuel was intrigued by Rhoda, as well as her garden and knowledge of plants. Rhoda was definitely attracted to Samuel. When the orchard needed help, Samuel knew just the person for the job - Rhoda. The King's failing apple orchard brought all the characters together and things worked out in ways that were surprising to everyone involved.

All the characters were dealing with their own issues. Rhoda's sister, Emma, died two years before and she was really struggling with her death. She blamed herself. Samuel was trying to keep the orchard from going under, along with the relationship with his girlfriend, Catherine. Leah had very low self esteem and was trying to fit in anywhere. There was also Landon, Jacob, and Catherine. Landon was a great guy, always standing by Rhoda to support her. Jacob, Samuel and Leah's brother, was avoiding a part of his past. Catherine was learning that she needed to stand on her own and not depend on Samuel to fix everything. It was a little hard to keep everyone straight at first, but it didn't affect my wanting to read the story.

This story will keep you guessing when it comes to romance. One minute you think there is a attraction between characters that will turn into something, the next minute you are not so sure. The only issue I had with this story was with Rhoda's "gut feelings". She and her family believed it to be a gift from God. The problem I have is that Rhoda sees and hears her dead sister Emma telling her how to help people. God is not going to use dead people. As the series continues, I'm hoping to discover that she is seeing and hearing Emma because she suffering from depression caused by Emma's death. If you enjoy reading books that are part of a series, you will like A Season For Tending. There are loose ends when the book draws to a close. I am going to have to patiently wait, how I don't know, for the next book in the series to get some answers to my questions. This was a book that I found hard to put down.

Amish Vines And Orchards Series:
#1 A Season For Tending
#2 The Winnowing Season ( the be released 4/16/13) 

Check out the first chapter of A Season for Tending  here.

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of ten works of fiction and one work of nonfiction, whose connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media and throughout Christian news outlets. She lives outside Atlanta with her family.

New York Times best-selling author, Cindy Woodsmall and Amish-Mennonite author Sherry Gore cook apple dumplings and discuss Cindy's newest book, A Season for Tending

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

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