Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review: The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall May 30, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:12 am
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The Winnowing Season


Cindy Woodsmall

From the back cover:

The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?  

On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.

Can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?

My thoughts:

If you missed my review of A Season for Tending, the first book in the series, you can check that out here.

I enjoyed the first book in the series so much I couldn’t wait to get back to these characters and Cindy did not disappoint.

She throws you right back into the drama of Rhoda and the King brothers. The book opens with Rhoda being summoned to meet with the bishop and she knows this can’t go well. I won’t tell you what happens, but know there is high drama and you want to speak up for her and tell them to just leave her alone.

Samuel is struggling with his feelings for Rhoda and I found myself wanting them to find a way to be together without hurting Jacob. Is it possible?

Jacob is thrown into his past and it makes me mad that he won’t be honest with Rhoda, you know it all has to explode in his face, right?

Again, I won’t give anything away, you’ll just have to get your own copy to see what happens. I enjoyed this book as much, if not more, than the first. If you enjoy Amish fiction and some romance, pick up a copy and start reading, you won’t be sorry.

You can get a copy from your local bookstore (I’ve seen copies at Meijer for you mid-west readers) or you can order your copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or from the publisher.

Visit Cindy’s website by clicking here.

An ebook of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Review: A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall April 29, 2013

*** A quick note. You will notice I will post a review on Thursday this week. Once in a while I might have to go off schedule due to dates of blog tours that book reviews must be posted. Just wanted to give you all a heads up.


A Season for Tending


Cindy Woodsmall

From the back cover:

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:

This is a book that took me a while to fall into the groove of the story. I am not into gardening or anything along those lines so I wasn’t really sure what to think at first. But as I got more and more into the story I grew to care for the characters and the use of gardening and caring for orchards became a great part of the story.

Rhoda Byler has a gift from God. But it is gift that is misunderstood by those around her. Not only does she need to learn to trust God but she needs to learn to trust her gift.

I can very much relate to Rhoda and this difficulty in trusting her gift. As a worship leader I often get complaints about the music choice and there are just going to be people who don’t like how I lead worship. I have no choice but to get back up on the stage each and every Sunday and do what I know God has called me to do, even in the face of opposition.

Rhoda must do the same. She must ignore public opinion and so what she knows God wants her to. He doesn’t give us gifts just to bury them and never use them. Remember the story about the talents and the man who buried his so he didn’t lose it?

There are so many Genesis 5020’s in this book too. From Samuel’s sister Leah landing in Rhoda’s  vineyard to Rhoda’s vineyard being destroyed. But you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean.

On the last page Cindy has me crying, “Nooooo!” She ended the book with a major turn of events, one I didn’t see coming and that has me itching to read the next book, which I hope to review for you soon.

To order from Amazon click here.

To order from Barnes and Noble click here.

To order from click here.

To order from the publisher click here.

To visit Cindy’s website click here.

An ebook of this book was given to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.