The Winnowing Season
by Cindy Woodsmall
I must say this series is addictive! This is the second book in Ms. Woodsmall’s Amish Vines and Orchards Series. While it could be read as a stand alone book, you won’t want to miss reading book one, A Season for Tending.
Needing a fresh start, (so as not be a spoiler, I will not reveal why!), the King brothers, their sister, Rhoda & Stephen Byler and his family decide to leave their close Amish community in Massachusetts and venture to Maine. There they and other families buy and purpose to bring back to life an abandoned orchard. With no Amish settlement there they must begin one before others can follow.
They knew it was a challenge but never dreamed how big of a one it would really be! As if reestablishing the orchard, renovating the farm house, and dealing with everyone living in one home was not enough, their relationships with each other become very complicated. Rhoda was looking forward to continuing her courtship with Jacob, but he mysteriously keeps having to leave and will not reveal why. Where is he going and why won’t he tell her? Troubling Rhoda even more is the drastic change in Samuel whom she looked as a friend. He avoids her and is very unfriendly. She begins to wonder if she made a mistake by moving.
To make matters worse Rhoda finds her Amish kindness and patience with teen girls who continue to be found trespassing on their property results in her being a victim of lies and being investigated by the police! The next thing they know the press is involved and making visits and their simple way of life is turned upside down. At this point Jacob is forced to reveal his secret which necessitates him have to stay away even longer to avoid the law. The stress would be overwhelming for anyone but especially the very private Amish.
The story really put me on the edge of my seat and I began to wonder was there any way for the multitude of problems to be resolved and the new settlement make it. I love the way each character that is in such turmoil finally yields to God individually and lets Him guide them. As in our Christian lives, the Lord’s answer is not to fix the “other people”, but for each one of us to recognize the truth about ourselves we are failing to see.
I could identify with their discouragement, frustrations, and hopelessness. That heavy heartedness that can settle on you when you are overwhelmed by problems and you just don’t see how God can ever fix the mess you are in. The story was so true to life in that the answers He presents us with and the choices we must make may be very hard. Yet those hard choices bring the peace we seek and a solution to the difficulties we face.
I found this book very entertaining on many levels and uplifting in the spiritual lessons it illustrated through the lives of the characters. I can’t wait to read book three!
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.
The Winnowing Season