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Review: Seasons of Tomorrow
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Review: Seasons of Tomorrow

25 Apr Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: Seasons of Tomorrow
Review: Seasons of Tomorrow

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmallseasonsoftomorrow
Reviewed by: Pam Graber
Genre: Amish Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: April 16, 2014

New release Seasons of Tomorrow is the fourth book in Cindy Woodsmall’s Amish Vines and Orchards series. The series follows Rhoda Byler, an Amish woman who has a remarkable affinity for gardening. Rhoda is unique in her community because of her intuitions. She “sees” things that have happened in the past and sometimes things that will happen in the future. Because of her visions, she is ostracized by her community who fears what they do not understand.

The first book in the series, A Season for Tending, introduces the reader to Rhoda and her family. It also introduces the King family and brothers Samuel and Jacob King. She eventually goes to work for King Orchards and begins a courting relationship with younger brother, Jacob. As the series continues, Rhoda gets engaged to Jacob, but his secrets take him away from her for long periods of time. Those secrets eventually break them up and she sees that Samuel is the brother she really loved all along.

In Seasons of Tomorrow, Rhoda and Samuel are still walking a tightrope. They want to be married, but they feel they need Jacob’s forgiveness before they can take that step. They continue to work together in the new King Orchard – Maine, growing closer by the day but neither will cross the lines they’ve imposed on themselves. Jacob, on the other hand, has taken himself out of the picture, working construction for his uncle as far away from Maine as he can get. He has no wish to watch his brother fall in love with the girl he, too, was in love with.

In the course of his work for his uncle, Jacob’s heart slowly begins to heal and he meets Esther, a young woman who leads him to believe that she is married for the first several months he knows her. In spite of believing she is taken, he begins a friendship with her. They spend hours working together, talking and enjoying each other’s company. When he learns she lied (by omission) about being married, he walks away believing there must be something wrong with him because all the women in his life lie to him. After three months, he realizes that he overreacted and he misses her companionship too much to just let her go.

This book was the perfect conclusion to the series. While there was plenty of turmoil in the main characters’ lives, each character seemed to learn from their earlier mistakes and dealt better with the things that happened. I especially enjoyed the maturation the character of Leah showed in this book from the beginning of the series. I also loved how much Rhoda and Samuel appreciated each other now that they were finally able to be together.

On the negative side, the Amish church members, especially Samuel and Leah’s father, are portrayed pretty harshly, which I know they can be when someone tries to step outside their boundaries. If you’re looking for a “sweet Amish read”, parts of this would fit the bill, but there are incidents where Leah’s father comes across as a major bully. The mean-spirited parts are far outweighed in this novel by the way the characters resolve conflicts in their new community, so I don’t have any qualms about recommending this book. There are also a number of laugh-out-loud moments that gave the book a good balance.

I definitely think this is a must-read for anyone who has read the rest of the Amish Vines and Orchards series. It is also a must if you love Cindy Woodsmall. I loved how she cut from one character to the next to the next, weaving each story together to bring a beautiful conclusion to the series. I don’t think you need to have read the other books in the series to enjoy this book, but once you read this, I’m betting you’ll want to go back and get “the rest of the story.” Personally, I hated putting it down so I could get some sleep, and I’m going to miss these characters now that the series is concluded.

Rated PG: This book is a very clean read so there are no worries there. When Esther explains her reasoning for opening a home for unwed mothers, I felt that would be beyond what a young child might be prepared to know. Also, I think a more mature audience would better understand the harshness displayed by the overall Amish church in this book.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Thanks!

 

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