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.
This is the middle book in the Amish Vines and Orchards trilogy and starts just before the main characters leave their community for Maine. Before they leave, however, Rhoda must face her bishop over allegations regarding property damage. If the situation isn’t resolved neither she nor her older brother and his family will be able to leave in good standing. Jacob has promised to support her at the hearing, and then escort the group north, but he disappears without word. As the group starts to make a go of it in Maine he comes and goes on a regular basis, seemingly putting another woman before Rhoda. When Rhoda faces troubles of her own, she must turn to Jacob’s brother instead.
The Winnowing Season was a difficult book for me to like. While I appreciated learning about Jacob’s past, I had issues with the supernatural part of the novel. Rhoda has visions that are indications of events to come. They were present in the first book, A Season For Tending, but they play a major role here. She also keeps seeing the ghost of her sister who was murdered, and has conversations with her. I do enjoy a good ghost story, especially those based in fact and evidence, but I was actually uncomfortable reading these passages. I think the majority of the plot could have survived without the inclusion of this concept.
Rhoda might be the main character, but I’m not sure I like her. I don’t like Jacob either. What did surprise me is that I liked Samuel and his sister, Leah, and these are two characters I didn’t care much for in book one. Samuel might be determined, but he has a new business that must succeed and Jacob has left him with one more than one difficult situation. As for Leah, she has grown in maturity and is now exploring her options in a more responsible way than previously. It is these two I look forward to reading about in the final book, For Every Season, which releases in September.
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: 02 April 2013
Page Count: 336
Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging For Books program for my free copy of The Winnowing Season, which I received in exchange for an honest review.