When we first moved to Amish country, I was entralled with Amish fiction, hoping to glean some understanding about a people with whom I was previously unfamiliar.
I’ll admit it: I got burnt out. I felt like I was reading the same plots with different characters.
I’ve been reluctant to pick up another one in quite some time, but I found a pleasant surprise in Cindy Woodsmall’s The Scent of Cherry Blossoms. Though the story was slow to start, it soon picked up speed, and I was fully invested in the Romeo-and-Juliet plot set in the Plain community.
Aden and Annie, the love protagonists, are separated by their faith communities, one Old Order Amish, the other Old Order Mennonite, and though they work side-by-side and have been friends for years, their relationship is not permitted to progress beyond a working one. The plot is almost frustrating because the line separating the two groups, from the outside, seems almost negligible. Woodsmall, however, writes from personal knowledge — friendship with an Old Order Amish woman — which lends credibility to the story and its characters.
FAVORITES: Likable characters. Enchanting setting. Compelling story.
FAULTS: Aden stutters, and Woodsmall writes that into his dialogue. It’s an important part of his character, but it’s hard to read at times. Distracting, almost. But I don’t know how else you convey a stutter on the printed page. Also, the ending felt abrupt. After all the build-up, I thought, “that’s it?” It wasn’t a bad ending; the story just concluded hastily, I thought.
IN A WORD: Redemptive. It’s Christian fiction, so it ought to be, right? For me, The Scent of Cherry Blossoms redeemed Amish fiction. Maybe I’ll try another one soon.
How about you? Interested in this book? I’d like to give it away.
Click here to read the first chapter.
Leave a comment here on the blog about why you love Amish fiction, or why, if you don’t, you’d be willing to give this one a try.
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