"A Season for Tending" by Cindy Woodsmall is the first book in the "Amish Vines and Orchards" series and once you read this one, you will probably want to read the entire series. Here is a quick summary from the publisher:
"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?"
As you can tell from the summary, this book contains many interwoven themes and story lines full of drama and angst, romance and heartache. The characters are very likeable to the extent that I found myself rooting for them and celebrating with them when good things started happening. The book ends in a slight cliff-hanger which means I will definitely be reading the rest of the series to find out what happens next. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction as I would consider this book to be particularly well written and unique for this genre. I also enjoyed learning a little bit about the business of Apple Orchards and how fragile the business of being a farmer can be.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.