Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Seasons of Tomorrow By Cindy Woodsmall

As love restores Rhoda, a sudden tragedy is the test of faith she never saw coming.
More settled in her heart than ever before, Rhoda Byler feels a newfound confidence living in the Old Order Amish settlement she helped establish in Orchard Bend, Maine. Time has helped to heal the wounds of Rhoda’s recent severed relationship, and she finds that even her unusual gift of profound intuition is less of a burden as she continues to seek God’s wisdom for her future. She is happy to be working alongside the King family and the love of her life as they tend and nurture the settlement’s orchard.
Yet when Leah King’s involvement with Englischer Landon Olson becomes known outside of the Maine community, her disregard of the Ordnung could threaten all the Orchard Bend Amish are building. In the midst of addressing the discord, a shocking tragedy challenges the young settlement like never before, threatening to uproot Rhoda’s peace and the future of everything she holds dear.
When several members of Orchard Bend Farms are displaced, the estranged King brother is called upon to return. Can those who founded the new Amish community in Maine unite Or will the lingering pain of past hurts and present struggles result in the end of their dreams?

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Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the second most popular author of Amish fiction, following Beverly Lewis.

She's a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She's won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer's Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings' Best Books of the Year. She's been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn't realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn't allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy's house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them--afraid that if they didn't, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann's because her family didn't own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults' disapproval and the obstacles in each other's lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy's family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities--from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.
I was a little disappointed with Book 4 in the Amish Vines and Orchards series. I hated to write this review, I am a fan of Woodsmall.
The story moved to fast and fell very short in my opinion. For some reason this book was not like the first three in the series, I just had to fight to read the book until the end.  It was very predictable.
Not the conclusion to the series that I had hoped it would be.
I gave this book 3.5 stars.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for my honest review.


  1. Cindy is one of my favorite authors. I hate that this book is not up to par with her other books, but I do trust your reviews Mary and I will probably not be reading this book.

  2. Love Cindy's books. And I would still love to read this book.

  3. I am a huge fan of Cindy's! I can't wait to read this book. I know by your review you were disappointed in it but I still want to read it. Thank you Mary for your honest reviews that you post!

    Judy B

  4. After reading this review this is not a book that I want to spend my hard earned money on. Thanks Mary for your review.

  5. I have to say that I would still be willing to read this book. Since I have not read Cindy before, I do not have the other books to compare this one too. Thank you Mary for your honest review.

  6. Cindy Woodsmall is my absolute favorite Amish fiction author. I am looking forward to reading this final book in the series.

  7. I am looking forward to reading Seasons of Tomorrow By Cindy Woodsmall.

  8. I am looking forward to reading Seasons of Tomorrow By Cindy Woodsmall.

  9. Sorry to hear this about her book. I haven't read this series, but the books of hers I have read, I liked!

  10. I love Cindy's books and would love to be able to read this one. hate you were disappointed with it Mary but know you are being honest in your opinion. Thanks. Please put my name in for a chance to win. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  11. Sorry the book didnt wow you. I love Amish fiction and I love Cindy's writing. I am looking forward to reading this book.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com