Sunday, February 26, 2012
The Scent of Cherry Blossoms
My Review of The Scent of Cherry Blossoms
by Cindy Woodsmall
Dear Blog Reader,
I am going to break the rules, as I observe them, and do a different sort of review on this book, The Scent of Cherry Blossoms, by Cindy Woodsmall. I am going to review it now, based on pages 1 - 82, and again, at the completion of the book.
I am so torn and enthralled so far as I read. Aden and Annie so obviously belong together, and here they are: forced to meet secretly in Daedi Moses' cherry orchard. Why?? Because she is Old Order Mennonite and he is Old Order Amish! They have devised their own secret language to make up for the communication barriers (and you MUST read the book to see what these barriers are, dear reader). Ellen, Aden's mamm, loves Annie, but is upset and discouraging them from being together anymore. Oh, and then there is dear Roman, Aden's twin brother, who is wheelchair bound, and has lost his confidence and cocky self-assurance. Perky, sassy Marian actually dares him to take her out on a date and he agrees! They have a wonderful date and also obviously belong together. Is Roman going to allow the physical barriers to keep them apart? Will Annie go against the rules of the church she loves and follow her heart? Will Aden continue to defy his mamm and meet sweet Annie underneath the cherry blossoms? Oh, I do hope so! I am upset that I need to stop reading and go to sleep to be ready for church tomorrow! I want to see these two young couples find love together! Will they? Grab a copy of this delightful, heart-wrenching book, and find out with me! I dare you!
More to come..........don't worry, I won't "spoil" the book for you, you'll still have to read to find out the culmination of the conflict!
Well, it is 6 a.m. and I have finished the book.....couldn't sleep and so I read. Wow! What a wonderful book for anyone with a disability of any sort to read. If you question your faith or have ever felt angry towards God, I believe you'll find some answers here. Things become very serious and very dour for Aden and Annie. They have monumental decisions to make. Their choice to be together could drive a wedge into their families' hearts and could cause other strife for them as well. Annie faces difficulties back at home with her mamm and brothers and sisters. Will she be able to mend those fences too?
If you love Amish fiction or just plain old romance and faith, you are sure to love this book. I highly recommend it! I am now ready for a sequel as I simply must know what goes on "down the road" for these beloved families. What about Marian and Roman? They are developing a remarkable friendship---could it lead to something even stronger?
About the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite
It occurred to me that some of you, blog readers, may not be familiar with the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonites. What are the differences you may notice in the book: Annie (Old Order Mennonite)wears a head-covering as Ellen (Old Order Amish) but the type of covering may differ. Old Order Mennonites are allowed to wear prints on their fabric dresses, which all the girls and women of both Old Order Mennonite and Old Order Amish wear. Old Order Amish will only wear certain solid colors in their clothing. Old Order Amish men grow a beard, but never a mustache (to show their resistance to violence and war as they associate them with military of old), once they marry and never cut it. Old Order Amish meet for church in homes of members and a fellowship meal is always served afterwards with the women and girls serving the men and boys who eat first. Both churches have the men and women sit opposite and separate from each other. Old Order Mennonites meet in a church building if they so choose. Old Order Amish go to school through the eighth grade and then apprentice under the parent of same sex in preparation for marriage and a career (for men). Old Order Mennonites are allowed to pursue further education if they choose to do so.
Old Order Amish have no electricity in their homes. Old Order Mennonites do have electricity. Old Order Amish use horse and buggies. They may ride in cars and will hire drivers when they need to travel some distance or get somewhere quickly, as in a medical emergency. Old Order Mennonites are also referred to as "horse-and-buggy Mennonites". Both groups believe that you marry for life, there is to be no divorce. Old Order Amish allow a rumschpringe, a time when the teens and young adults are allowed increased freedom to explore the English world. Old Order Mennonites do not allow this practice as they believe it has potential for impurity among the youth. Old Order Amish practice shunning, which is a time of turning away from a member of the church who has broken the rules of the Ordnung, in hopes they will feel pressured to repent and confess to return to fellowship with the church. Old Order Mennonites do something similar but do not call it shunning and they do not place an ending time on the turning away from the member. The problem in this book comes in the fact that Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are not allowed to marry each other. If one of them chooses to leave their church after taking the vow to join the church, they will be completely ignored (or shunned) by their church family. You will discover more similarities and differences among the groups as you read. Both groups are known as Plain people. Their faith in God is extremely important to both groups and they practice as they do to set themselves apart from the world. Will these differences keep Annie Martin and Aden Zook apart? Will they ever be able to bridge the great divide and come together in marriage? Can the two worlds meld? Oh, I do hope so! I am on pins and needles!
To read the first chapter of the book: http://www.scribd.com/doc/75790909/The-Scent-of-Cherry-Blossoms-by-Cindy-Woodsmall-Chapter-1-Excerpt#
About the Author:
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. She is the author of six novels, two novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work on non-fiction co-authored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend. Cindy lives in Georgia with her family.
As per FTC regulations, I must report that I received a copy of this book free from WaterBrook Multonomah Publishing Company in exchange for my honest review.