Rhoda Byler, a member of the Old Order Amish, is a gifted gardener who raises all kinds of fruits and herbs and sells her canned goods at a successful roadside stand in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She also has a “sixth sense” about things that are about to happen; unfortunately for her, people mistake her intuition as witchcraft and report her to her church elders. As a result, her elder convinces Rhoda’s father to destroy her herb garden and campaigns to have her berry bushes destroyed. A few towns away from Rhoda, the King brothers, Samuel and Jacob, face financial ruin in their apple orchard. After a few bad seasons and inclement weather, they need help. They come up with a great idea to save their business: they ask Rhoda to help treat plants organically for pests and to can the apples that are not suitable as “eating apples.” There are several problems with this proposed arrangement, and the young people must decide the best way to handle it. Being a female, Rhoda is not supposed to have a main position in a business with a man, and she and Samuel butt heads on everything. They cannot even agree on a joint logo. To preserve their businesses, however, they agree to give it a try. Since this is the first book in a series, there is no clear resolution, so I can happily look forward to the next adventure of Sadie and the King family.
This book is interesting because it explores many facets of the Old Order Amish community. While the Amish have their own way of doing things, they still face many challenges and situations that we non-Amish face. How they handle it, always turning the other cheek and doing everything to glorify God, is what makes the difference. Despite some people causing trouble for others, the community is very tight and loving, and it’s refreshing to see positive relationships. I enjoyed this book for its main characters and for its developing secondary characters. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.
There are some mature themes, but nothing blatantly offensive.
Rated G: There is nothing that should offend.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!
Jen is a lifelong book lover. When she is not working or sleeping, she can usually be found reading something. Nothing makes her happy like snuggling up on the couch with a good book, a blanket, and her Labrador Retriever, Daisy. She loves mysteries and suspense, but will happily read just about any genre. She refers to her love of books as a “sickness,” and has stacks and stacks of books waiting in the wings to be read. Jen is a strong supporter of her local library and highly encourages others to support their libraries.
When not reading, Jen can be found crafting, playing with Daisy, volunteering, or spending time with her friends. Jennifer is married and lives with her husband Steve, her cat Roberta, and Daisy in North Canton, OH.