Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

This review gives more insight than just "it was/wasn't a good book" or "this is/isn't a must read". While I try not to give too much away, sometimes it's difficult to write about the story and have it not be revealing.   

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the fourth book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series. It is about lives and relationships being restored in the one year old Amish community that has been established in Orchard Bend, Maine. Rhoda Byler, members of the King family, and other Amish families are working hard to get Orchard Bend Farms up and running. When a life threatening event hits the community, everyone needs to pull together to keep the community and farm afloat.

Rhoda Byler is gifted in horticulture. She can get anything to grow. She makes Apple Butter with the produce from the orchard. God has given her the ability to know things that have happened in the past or will happen in the future. She is in love with Samuel Fisher. I enjoyed seeing Rhoda happy in this story and not struggling so hard.

Samuel Fisher is in charge of the orchard. He also knows a lot about growing plants and trees. Samuel has finally confessed his love to Rhoda but not without cost. He, along with Rhoda, is struggling with the fact that they have hurt his brother Jacob, who recently had dated Rhoda. It is nice to see Samuel relaxing a little in many aspects of his life.

Jacob Fisher has finally quit running from his past and all the secrets it held. But he can’t hang around Orchard Bend, knowing that his ex-girlfriend and brother are in love with each other. His construction job in another state keeps him busy but the loneliness doesn’t go away until he meets Esther Beachy. I was so glad that Esther was introduced. She was a refreshing character and so unlike many Amish woman that I’ve read about.

Leah Fisher loves Englisher Landon Olson. They are secretly dating. Landon has no plans of becoming Amish but he’s not pushing Leah to become English, which she was planning on doing long before she met him. It is refreshing to see a mature Leah.

Restoration and healing are the themes of this story. There are many relationships that need to be restored in Seasons of Tomorrow. At times it seems that the only relationship that will remain is that of Rhoda and Samuel. Cindy Woodsmall did a good job of keeping me guessing about all the relationships and wanting them to work out. I was even pulling for Englisher Camilla, friend and neighbor of Rhoda, to have resolution from a past relationship. Healing could only come from God working in the characters’ lives and there is great evidence in that as the story continues. I liked how the author showed that Landon decided to follow Christ and became a Christian.

As the story begins Rhoda, Leah, and Jacob are finally finding peace in their lives. Conflict occurs when Leah’s dad discovers she is dating an Englisher and Jacob returns to Orchard Bend Farms. The author had me guessing with each new chapter how the life threatening event would turn out. I was hoping for the best for everyone as I read to the end.

I enjoyed reading Seasons of Tomorrow; I actually read it in one day. This was a good ending to the Amish Vines and Orchards series. I really liked how all the characters changed and grew for the better since reading the first book of the series. The only thing that bothered me was how the author wrote that Rhoda’s gift of intuition was supposed to be from God. While I agree that God does show Christians things we need to do or pray for about our future and from our past, Rhoda’s gift seemed more like fortune telling to me.
Each chapter of Seasons of Tomorrow goes back and forth between the viewpoints of different people. Even though there are several main characters the story easily switches back and forth between their perspectives. While reading the previous books in the series isn’t necessary to understand all that is going on, I would recommend them. I enjoyed the entire series and am sad to see it come to an end.

I received a free copy of this book from the Christian Manifesto and  WaterBrook/Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

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