For the first time, I must say I was disappointed about the way this book ended. I am the kind of person who cannot wait to see how things work out and I am not ashamed to say I will read the end of a book before I've read it all the way through, but with The Winnowing Season, the story doesn't end at the end of the book. Now I have to wait until the next one comes out before I know how the series ends. The nerve of some authors!
Actually Cindy Woodsmall has crafted a well-told story. The fact that I am disgruntled because I am unsatisfied with the ending shows how well she's done her job as an author. The fact that I want more means she's put her hooks in me and will have me dutifully waiting for her next book. In fact I've gone and ordered her previous series just to tide me over until the next one in THIS series comes out this fall.
Rhoda, Jacob, Samuel, Landon, Leah, and Rhoda's brother and his family are getting ready to move to Maine to restore the old orchard there. The night before they are to leave, Rhoda is called before the elders of her church because Samuel wrote a letter about Reuben Glickman's destruction of her herb and berry garden. Because God has gifted her with a gift of prophecy, Rhoda is treated with scorn because the others in her Amish community fear what her gift truly means. After a meeting where Rhoda is not given an opportunity to explain herself, she is finally given permission to go with the others to help establish the new community and to help restore the old orchard.
Right before the meeting Jacob is called away by someone he knew while he was living in the Englisch world and doesn't show up in Maine until they'd been there a week. Jacob's friend Sandy and her daughter Casey depend on Jacob to help her out when trouble comes knocking at her door. This time he helps Sandy move to avoid people who knew where her skeletons were hiding.
Samuel has been hiding the fact that he loves Rhoda and doesn't know what to do with his feelings. Instead of reaching out in friendship, Samuel is argumentative and abrupt with Rhoda, until . . .
Leah still is enamored with the Englisch world and still seeks the thrills she finds there. She engages with Landon, Rhoda's Englisch friend, to help her experience more of the Englisch world.
Rhoda begins working in the greenhouses to establish her herb gardens and in the process finds some teen girls who are drinking and smoking in the last greenhouse in the orchard. Rhoda asks the girls to leave and not come back because they are trespassing, and unknowingly opens Pandora's box that ends up haunting her all the way back to her Pennsylvania community and the people who were supposed to come to the new community.
I've skimmed over many of the details of the book so that I don't spoil the story, but this book is so good I can't recommend it enough.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a Greenhouse full of herbs.
You can read the first chapter here. Just click on the Excerpt tab.