Book Review: The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

Amazon summary
Annie Martin loves the Plain ways of her Old Order Mennonite people, like those revered by her beloved grandfather. Retreating from a contentious relationship with her mother, Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge.

But as spring moves into Pennsylvania and Annie spends time amongst the cherry trees with the handsome Aden Zook, she wishes she could forget how deeply the lines between the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are drawn.

Can Annie and Aden find a place for their love to bloom in the midst of the brewing storm?

My review
I have to admit that I’ve shied away from Amish romance novels because while I enjoy reading “clean” romances and I have no problem with a Christian message in a fiction book, I was worried that the Amish romances would be more than I wanted to deal with. I have no idea what I expected. A lot of preaching and angst, I guess. So what do I get for pre-judging? I get to miss out on some really good books, apparently. If this story is representative of all of Cindy Woodsmall’s work, I have a new must-read author to add to my list.

This book not only leads us through the drama of Annie and Aden, but also of Aden’s family, particularly his twin brother Roman. Annie and Aden are battling not only the huge differences in their religions, but the prejudices of their families and communities. As an added complication, Annie’s grandfather hold the financial future of Aden’s family in his hands.

In the meantime, Roman, wheelchair-bound by an accident, is struggling with feeling sorry for himself. Focused on what he can’t do, and terrified of losing Aden, who is both his “legs” and his best friend. When he encounters a woman who forces him to see himself as more than a “cripple”, he pushes her away. The book is really a two-relationships-for-the-price-of-one deal.

With Roman and his lady friend providing comic relief in the form of corny one-liners, the book was much lighter than it could have been. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the humor kept it from becoming a heavy, depressing, no-resolution-in-sight story.

You can read an excerpt of The Scent of Cherry Blossoms here.
You can also see some interesting videos from the author about the inspiration for this story.

About the book
Title: The Scent of Cherry Blossoms: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Release date: February 21, 2012
Pages: 208
Where I got the book: Free from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

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