The Scent of Cherry Blossoms, by Cindy Woodsmall
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.
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