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?
I got an Advanced Reader Copy from Blogging for Books.
I absolutely loved this book. It is the best book I’ve read by Cindy Woodsmall. It kept my attention from the start. It didn’t start out slow, like some books, but was enthralling throughout.
Rhoda was a very likable character. Cindy made you really feel Rhoda’s stuggles. She was accused of things that weren’t true and suffered for those accusations. She got through those stuggles courageously and with integrity.
When I first meet Leah from the King family, I didn’t like her, but her character got stronger as the story went on and she redeemed herself. The rest of the King family was also very likable. Samuel trys to do what is best for the family orchard. His brother Jacob has secrets of his own that he has yet to really rsolve as the story comes to a close. Eli was a minor character, but hopefully we’ll hear more about him in coming books. Samuel’s girlfriend, Catherine, is a character I didn’t care for, but with Cindy’s writing style, I still had empathy for her.
These characters face many obstacles and challenges as they try to do what is best to make a good living for themselves. Rhoda sometimes feels that the troubles are fault, but as you come to find out, as is with everything in life and in books, GOD has a perfect plan for everything.
The dialogue and comentary in this book are great. The plot is realistic. I cannot wait for the next book in this series to come out. Cindy Woodsmalll I think you did a very excellent job with this story. Thank you very much. These characters will stay with me for a long time to come.
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