In this spring novella from New York Times best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall, love between a Mennonite woman and an Amish man threatens the lifelong relationship between two brothers. Sadie is a young, single Old Order Mennonite who moves in with her grandfather to fill in for him at a restaurant he co-owns with Ellen Zook, an Old Amish woman, and her two sons. Romance between the Mennonites and Amish is forbidden, but Sadie grows to care for the Zook family-especially considerate Aden. Is heartache all that is ahead for the Amish Family when Sadie steals one man's heart, leaving his wheelchair-bound twin without a caretaker?
- Reasonably Entertaining Christian Romance
The Scent Of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall is quite an entertaining read and an insight into different forms of Amish communities including some of their customs and boundaries. This story is about two families who have similar but slightly different beliefs, which get called into question when the Mennonite young lady starts to have feelings for the Amish young man who used to live next door to her grandparents.
This book is my first taste of Christian romance novels and I can see why women love them but it lacked action or any real physical conflicts that could have made it a great story. It is quite a solid story and I did get involved in it and feel for the characters but in the end I was thinking why couldn’t they just work it out since they had such similar beliefs.
The narration was quite good and it really added to the story. The narrator used multiple voices, sarcasm and changes in tone to add to the story.
Although I am not a fan of this genre of book, this book is quite an entertaining story and will no doubt be loved by many people when they read it.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
- Broken people being healed by God.
I don't normally care for romances but I chose this one because of the Amish twist. The Amish fascinate and inspire me. Ms. Woodsmall does an excellent job of introducing and acquainting us with her main characters. Annie comes from a broken Old Order Mennonite home in which her mother has struggled to raise several children amid the shame of her husband abandoning the family. Aden's Old Order Amish father and brother, Roman, were injured in a farming accident which left them unable to continue to provide for the family in quite the same way as before. Annie's struggles with her mother are emotionally charged. Roman's struggle to come to terms with his disability rings very true. The way these people of faith handle their challenges and ultimately turn to their Creator to help and heal them is inspiring. The problem of forbidden love between childhood friends Aden and Annie is resolved amid surprising twists and conflicts. I really enjoyed this book. It's a pleasant escape to Amish country and a "simpler" life. Cassandra Campbell's narration is clear and expressive without distracting from the story.
- fair representation of content
The Pennsylvania Dutch...or rather, the Mennonites and the Amish. Two family groups, similar in nature, separated by angst. Much like the story of the Montagues and Capulets (<em>Romeo & Juliet</em>), these two are pitted against each other, until love enters the picture. Can love be enough, or will families stand against each other?
The narration is read well, the pace good and vocal presentation solid. Compared to the book content, the narration receives a fair score, but overall straining to listen to for more than a few minutes at a time. Campbell's voice almost sounds like a whining at times, which makes the listening difficult and unenjoyable. The dragging or slow movement between words doesn't help, but rather causes a loss of interest.
I would give the narration a three - there is effort but it just isn't it. As far as book content, it's better not to ask me. After all, in my guy manner, I'm not one for women Christian fiction. But hey, plenty of people are, which makes this book a worthy read for them.
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- Good Amish Fiction
This is a very well told story of 2 brothers - Aden and Roman - who are old order Amish. Annie is Mennonite, and Aden's love interest.
Both Amish and Mennonite communities have strict rules about dating; especially dating someone outside their faith - this is strictly forbidden. Despite all that, Annie and Aden spend much time together in the cherry orchards surrounding their homes. The storyline continues from there, as well as following Roman while he works in the family diner.
This story breaks down the prejudices that too often entangle us, whether by hand-me-down wrong beliefs; or religious traditions. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book, having become somewhat familiar familiar with both of these cultures. I have visited Amish/Mennonite country in PA numerous times, and have known a few families there.
This story is warm and authentic. I enjoyed very much the storyline. The narrator had an engaging style; bringing in different voices to represent the different characters in the book. This gave me a deeper knowledge and new appreciation for both the Amish and Mennonite communities.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this audio book as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. For more information about this and other Christian audio books visit christianaudio.com.
- Enjoyable story
I have finished listening to Cindy Woodsmall's new book called The Scent of Cherry Blossoms.
This is the story of Annie Martin, an Old Order Mennonite girl, and Aden Zook, an Old Older Amish boy. Due to conflict at home with her Mamm, Annie goes to stay with her grandfather in Apple Ridge. It is there she is reunited with Aden. She had helped his family in the past when Aden's brother and father were involved in an accident. The two quickly realize they have feelings for each other; however, they are not sure what to do about their relationship since both of them have made vows to their separate faiths. If they continue their relationship, Annie's grandfather has threatened to take away the partnership he has with Aden's family to provide electricity to their family restaurant.
I recommend this book to you. It was well-written, and I enjoyed getting to know these characters. I wondered how realistic this book is. The characters snuck around to spend time together against their family's wishes. Would this (and the outcome...don't want to give a spoiler) really happen? I look forward to more books from this author.
This audio book was ready by Cassandra Campbell. She did an excellent job and made this audio book very enjoyable in my opinion.
Thank you to the christianaudio Reviewers Program for providing this audio book for my review.
- Mixed Emotions
Basic summary: Annie and Aden, childhood friends become attracted to each other. But because of their different religious backgrounds are forbidden (because of their own vows – having joined the church and agreed to it’s rules) to have anything to do with each other. Should they disregard that or should they pursue a relationship with each other?
This book left me with mixed feelings. Lets start off with the “pros.”
It was well read. Cassandra Campbell did a good job reading it. I felt like I could hear the different characters individually and liked how she did the inflections of humor, sarcasm, and sadness.
***Possible spoilers ahead.***
It had some good points: We should be careful when making a promise. We should not pressure someone into making a promise. We should be aware of the fact that proximity breeds affection. We should examine our belief system to see if it’s correct. I loved the mom in this story – she really seemed to lean on the Lord whatever came her way.
The cons: The Bible teaches that if we “swear something to our own hurt” we aren’t to change but to bear it. (Although I am of the opinion a foolish, hurtful vow should be repented of and broken.) The young people in this story not only fed an attraction for years but also later snuck around even though they knew they were going against what they had promised and their parents/guardian’s wishes. Yet they are both presented as fairly godly young people. Their “need” to explore whether they really loved one another was more important than their promises to God, the church, or their families. You see a pattern of a lack of communication between the children and their parents/guardians. Yet to some degree they are portrayed as almost wiser than their elders. At one point in the story the young man basically decides his parent will not “dictate” anything to him. I felt that the parents/guardians in this story were lacking. While it’s great that the mom was such a spiritual lady, it was sad to see that she was the one that was the “most” spiritual rather than the husband or grandfather. I was disappointed in that, as the man should be the spiritual leader. Granted – sometimes, that’s just how it is.
It’s a great “tearjerker” of a story. But if your young person followed the principles that are enacted in this story I’m afraid that it wouldn’t turn out as well in real life as it did in the story. In fact, most of the time it’s a disaster. The author has a way with words and writes and interesting story – but in the end I think I’d rather not recommend it to any young person to read. If you are mature and would like to see how people in this situation think – then go for it. But realize in real life a situation similar to this is usually enacted by young people far more rebellious than those portrayed here and the end is generally heartbreaking. For this reason, I regretfully give this audio book two stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher through the christianaudio.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
- How far can we trust God?
Mixed in with this Amish fictional romance novel is a lot of interfamilial conflict. Mother and daughter, twin brothers, grandfather and granddaughter, mother and sons. In a world with such strict expectations placed on you by your family and, ultimately, your church community, each person has to struggle with whether or not he genuinely trusts God when times get tough. As each arrives at this decision in his own way, the family relationships are strained. Can the forbidden yet pure love between two young people from different faiths survive this strain? Can the families stick together and support one another in their decisions, or will they lose what really matters? This book dealt with dynamics of life that we can all relate to, whether or not we call ourselves Plain. Do we really trust God, or have the crutches we’ve used to prop ourselves up taken His place?
Two brothers whose physical limitations caused them to depend on each other for daily life, struggle with facing their shortcomings and deciding if those will ultimately define them. A mother who has a strong faith has to decide if that faith can carry her through the unknown. A father who made mistakes in parenting his only child has to decide if he wants to remain as rigid with his grandchild. The plot was interesting and pertinent, and the narrator did a great job. Her accent was clear and crisp, as the Amish and Mennonites tend to speak, and she changes her voice with each character so that I always knew whose point of view I was listening to and who was speaking. This is a great book for just relaxing and enjoying the story, and maybe finding a bit of yourself in the chapters.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the christianaudio.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
- Enticing and Emotional!
The story is perfect to celebrate the coming of spring. Awakening love, an awakening orchard, the hope of a future yet to be lived. The simple Amish ways make a budding romance even more enduring as they get to know each other in ways that the rest of the world does not in their courting processes.
Sadie is the heroine and Aiden is our hero, two unlikely candidates as you go through this book. There is plenty of drama when you add Aiden's mother and brother Roman, as well as Sadie's mother and Grandfather. But through it all, the enduring message of hope rings true. There are two stories that play out in this one book which does make it even more enjoyable.
I do need to share one of my favorite quotes from this book. As a housewife and mother, I greatly appreciated this about Aiden's mother and hope to live up to this myself:
"No matter what life dished out during any season, she faithfully greeted the day and her children with organization and routine."
I loved this story and when it was finished, I almost cried! I loved how Cindy Woodsmall crafted this beautiful tale of hope and true love. The narrator, though not one of my favorites, did a very good job of bringing The Scent of Cherry Blossoms to life! I highly encourage you to grab this book the next time you are in need of a heart warming and cozy story!
Thank you ChristianAudio for allowing me to listen to this book for this review!
- Lovely Romantic Story
This really is a lovely romantic audiobook read beautifully by Cassandra Campbell. When I first started listening to it I thought it would be full of awful clichés and I didn't think I was was going to enjoy it at all, but actually as the story progressed it drew me in. I really felt transported to Amish country and to the cherry blossoms in the title. I could feel the longing and love between Annie the Mennonite and Aden the Amish guy. I could also sense the anxiety between the adults who wanted to stop the relationship. It was interesting to hear about the different religions and the things they allowed and disallowed. There was also a really good side story going on with the Amish brothers too which was very believable. I have never listened to any stories by Cindy Woodsmall but I definitely would again. I think all ages would enjoy this audiobook, but especially women who like romantic stories. Thanks to christianaudio.com Reviewers Program for this copy.