I can always count on Cindy Woodsmall for a good book, and A Season For Tending was just that!  Rhoda Byler is a young Amish woman with a strong discernment for the needs of others and a true gift of using herbs as medicine.  Unfortunately, one in her Amish community that has a grievance against her has led many to believe she delves in “magic”.  She and her family suffers greatly because of the gossip and slander.  In spite of the hardships her family remains close and supports her.

She is a gentle, peace loving woman, but one true to her convictions.  Isolated by wagging tongues she finds her joy and purpose in her magnificent garden.  Her green thumb and love and knowledge of plants makes it produce like no other, which unfortunately fuels the fire the wagging tongues fan.  From this amazing garden, she has created a small but successful business.  Her accomplishments are always overshadowed by the false guilt she carries over the death of her younger sister.

Samuel King and his brothers are fighting another kind of battle struggling to keep their famous apple orchard running.  Family failures, careless choices, sibling’s secrets, and natural disasters make it an uphill battle. One they seem to be losing.   Rhoda and Samuel’s lives and futures are thrown together when Leah, Samuel’s little sister, is found in Rhoda’s garden after a night of rumschpringe gone bad.

Upon meeting Rhoda and finding out more about her talents, Samuel is convinced that they both hold the solution to each other’s business woes.  Rhoda isn’t sure and wants to make sure it is God’s will.  Her distrust of people and rejection by the Amish community continue to cloud her judgment.  The more unconvinced she becomes the more convinced Samuel becomes.  Will Samuel’s plan work?   Can Rhoda risk all she has to see?   You will find yourself caught up in the frustrations and doubts of the characters as they struggle to find an answer.   There were times I wanted to step into the book and have word with each one!   I found it inspiring that in all the unfair losses Samuel and Rhoda faced, they had the courage not to quit, even though they had every reason to.   Each time they looked past themselves and saw how their choices would affect those around them.

I liked that this book showed the Amish as real flesh and blood people with struggles the same as everyone else.   I had never really considered what worldly activities Amish youth dabble in nor the heartache and difficulties it causes their families.

Ms. Woodsmall brought to light the damage superstition, vengefulness, and unforgiveness of others and oneself can do to not only individuals but also families and communities.  This is a beautifully written book.  I can’t wait to read the sequel!

I received this book free from Waterbrook Press.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255





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