Book Review: A Season for Tending

Joann Schmid

3 Stars

October 27, 2012

Cindy Woodsmall’s, “A Season for Tending” is the first fiction book in a new collection, The Amish Vines and Orchard series.

The writer explores the changing attitudes in the religious world and uses this charming story to illustrate how that can be a positive thing, not something that is impossible.

Through the actions of one struggling adolescent, Sam’s sister Leah, two worlds become intertwined. The story is a wonderful example of a greater plan in action that any reader can enjoy, Christian or not.

The main character Rhoda spends a lot of time in her garden. She grows, cans and sells her crops, but what she is actually doing is hiding from herself, like most of us. Once she embraces who she is, an independent, insightful being, her life starts to change.

Sam lives a traditional Amish lifestyle on the family apple orchard. The business is in need of financial help, but more importantly, Sam needs an education in matters of the heart. He is challenged in his relationships, both personal and professional.

Once everyone starts to spend time together we get to know them better through continued side stories. I loved how the writer used the contrasting personalities between Rhoda and Catherine to highlight two totally different women. I also thought that Sam’s brother Jacob was an interesting character because he wants his Amish life even though he has been introduced to the world outside of the community. He has his own problems, but is evolving as a whole person as well.

In the end this book provided me with what I needed. It was slow to start, but entertained and educated me, and that’s what I look for in a good book. Note that this story does not complete itself. Why should it? Life doesn’t.