By, Cindy Woodsmall
Book description: In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda’s odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved garden?
Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler’s unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda’s “gift” is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business.
Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family’s apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable.
Meanwhile, Samuel’s younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda’s garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah’s poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions.
Rhoda’s expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn’t trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?
My Thoughts: I am a huge fan of Cindy Woodsmall’s books. I’ve had the pleasure of reading them all. I anxiously awaited the release of this book, and I wasn’t disappointed! Now this book had a different feel to it than the authors other series but I liked it. I think this book showed that no follower of Christ is perfect no matter which path towards grace you walk. I loved the banter between Jacob and Rhoda, as well as the struggles they each had to overcome to find the path God wants them to follow.
I don’t know if its just me but I sometimes seem to gravitate towards a secondary character in books or movies. Don’t get me wrong I love the main characters but something just drew me to the struggle Catherine goes through purely by her own actions. I loved that Cindy Woodsmall doesn’t gloss over Catherine’s flaws and sins. We all sin and I feel like Catherine’s troubles are something that many of us can relate to. All in all I loved the book and cant wait to read what’s in store for us in book two. So many characters stories are left unfinished and Cindy leaves us wanting more.
Disclosure: "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."