Book Review ~ The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall
Amish Vines and Orchards Series, Book 2

About the book:

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.

Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: 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:

One of the many things that I appreciate about Cindy Woodsmall’s series is that they seem to come out in pretty quick succession. Even with that it is still sometimes hard to immediately remember what happened in the last book and where we are at in the story. At the beginning of each of her subsequent books is a short synopsis of what has occurred in the story up to this point. I really wish more authors and publishers would adopt this practice.

This installment picks up where the first book left off. Samuel is still smitten with Rhoda but he can’t act on those feelings because his younger brother Jacob is actively pursuing her. Samuel and Rhoda are amazing business partners but could they be life partners as well?

Samuel makes decisions out of his passionate nature and does so in the pursuit of truth and justice. The problem is that in that quest he winds up hurting the very one he meant to protect. I find myself so frustrated with his stubbornness. He always thinks he’s right!

Jacob makes me crazy too. If he would just tell the truth about things it would not only allow others to help him, but it would give him the freedom to begin to set things right.

Rhoda is such an interesting and complex personality. I admire her ability to stand up to constant ridicule from those around her. One of the things that has me scratching my head is her willingness to cover up for Jacob. When will she realize that she’s not helping by allowing him to continually escape detection and repeatedly shirk his responsibilities to the group?

I have to say that I had the same exact reaction to the ending of this book as I had to the first one and many of Cindy’s other books as well. It went something like this, “What . . . that can’t be the end!” I would then frantically flip a few pages just to see if I had missed something. Nope . . . another cliffhanger! It is a very good thing that the next book in the series, For Every Season, is scheduled to release in August 2013. I can hardly wait!

Connect with the author:

Twitter: @CindyWoodsmall

Amish Vines and Orchard Series
1.       A Season for Tending
2.       The Winnowing Season 
3.       For Every Season 


  1. I'm not a big fan of the Amish Christian books, but after reading your review, I might actually like these!

  2. Hi Shannah! I enjoy reading Cindy Woodsmall's books. She just has a style all her own. The characters seem more real to life than some Amish fiction.

    If you decide to give this series a try remember this is book 2 so go back and start with book 1.

    Have a great day!


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