The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

Following further strain on her contentious relationship with her mother, Annie Martin, an Old Order Mennonite woman, is sent to live with her grandfather, Daadi Moses, in Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania. Normally her visits with Daadi Moses are spent caring for her elderly grandfather and this time she finds herself at lost for what she can do. In an attempt to be helpful, she volunteers to help at the Zook family’s diner.

The Zooks are an Old Order Amish family and they need their business relationship with Moses in order to be allowed to have electricity in their diner. And after a tragic accident that left Roman Zook paralyzed and Roman’s father in near constant pain. They rely upon the income from the diner and leave the running of the operation up to Aden, Roman’s twin who has a stutter and is quite shy. But Annie’s arrival throws Aden for a loop and the two must learn how deeply the lines between the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are drawn.

Yesterday, I was in desperate need of something to help me relax and plucked this short novel out of my stack of library books to do just that. Woodsmall has a way of sweeping me into her stories so much so that I cannot stop before I devour every last word. This was exactly the uplifting story I needed to help calm me.

The subplot of Roman’s struggle with his paralysis also caught my attention. It is hard enough in the Englisher world to need accommodations for your disability, but Roman’s needs are particularly challenge and he tended to distract me from Annie and Aden because I wanted to get to know him better.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this novel was the friction between the Old Order Mennonite and the Old Order Amish. My favorite series by Woodsmall has an Amish woman carrying out a clandestine relationship with a Mennonite man, but it never appeared quite as contentious as the one between Annie and Aden in this book. It’s a big departure from what she previously presented and what I figured occurred between the two religious sects.

Book Mentioned:

  • Woodsmall, Cindy. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2012. Print. 193 pgs. ISBN: 9780307446558. Source: Library.

 

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