Review of Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall
May 26, 2014, 8:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Amish gather our interest. They live simpler lives than we do, forgive better than we do (my reference being the shooting at an Amish school), and have a structure to their lives that often is lacking from our own. Cindy Woodsmall illustrates a point of view rarely considered by Englischers in Seasons of Tomorrow, the fourth book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series. It is not easy being Amish in today’s world.

A new Old Order Amish settlement has been established in Maine. Rhoda Byler, her older brother Steven, his wife Phoebe, and their children have founded this settlement along with sibling Samuel, Jacob, and Leah King. Landon Olson, a long-time friend and driver of Rhoda’s, has also moved to Maine from Pennsylvania. Landon has fallen in love with Leah, despite numerous reservations. This relationship disregards the Ordnung, which is the unwritten set of rules the Amish live by. I hate to use such a trite comparison, but think Romeo and Juliet. Landon and Leah are, of course, not guided by teenage romance nor are they divided by family rivalry. But there is a dividing line.

This division between worlds is explored throughout the book. Samuel speaks with his father, who travels to Maine after hearing of the relationship between Landon and Leah. He asks his father if he is opposed to a marriage between Leah and Landon “because it’s morally wrong, or because of how it will make you look to the church.” On the same page, it is explained that “Everyone on the farm had deep concerns about Leah leaving the Amish, including Leah, [Samuel] imagined. But they’d worked to make sure their feelings were based in love and true concern, not fear, pride, and an effort to save face.” Leah didn’t fall in love with an outsider out of rebellion. She found, as her brother Samuel did in Rhoda, the person in her life who understands her and whom she wants to spend her life with, despite the obstacles.

Landon approaches Leah’s father to make a deal of sorts. “I’m sick of you thinking outsiders are too stupid to comprehend what’s important in life and too evil to be allowed to infiltrate your camps of great holiness, “Landon tells Benjamin King before leaving in accordance with the deal that has been made.

I enjoyed the way this book ended. It is very similar to real life, where not everything is perfect but people are making a life of their own. There is very little rebellion, but support is offered to family.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for writing this review.


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