The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall
Reviewed by Jennifer S. Roman, Radiant Lit
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
Genre: Amish, romance, chick lit
After a particularly difficult disagreement with her single mother, Old Order Mennonite Annie Martin decides it is best to go live with her beloved grandfather for a while. He is dear to her heart and has stayed with him to help him recover from health issues before. In the process, she’s become friends with Aden Zook, who works at the restaurant that his family co-owns with Annie’s grandfather. Her grandfather is a vital part of the restaurant because as a Mennonite, he can have electricity, which is required by the Department of Health. Aden’s family is Old Order Amish and cannot own electricity.
When Annie arrives, she reconnects with Aden and they fall in love. Because they are of different sects, however, they are not allowed to date or marry, and doing so can cause excommunication from their communities. At first they decide to see each other late at night in Annie’s grandfather’s cherry orchards, but their families find out and Annie’s grandfather threatens to pull out of the restaurant if the two continue seeing each other. The two must decide whether their love or Aden’s family’s financial future is more important.
A takeoff of the classic Romeo and Juliet tale, the Scent of Cherry Blossoms show us that despite our obvious differences, at the core we are all want to love and be loved. Annie and Aden love their families and God, and take their vows to God very seriously, but don’t understand how their love is wrong.
While Woodsmall hints at a resolution, nothing is decided for sure, leaving the door open for a sequel. Hopefully it will address how things end for them. I am personally looking forward to finding out what happens between them.
This book is based on the Amish and Mennonite lifestyles, which are morally upstanding. Therefore, there is nothing objectionable in the story. Teen readers as well as adults should find this story to be compelling, thought-provoking and touching. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms is another great novella by Cindy Woodsmall.