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The Scent of Cherry Blossoms: A Romance from…

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country

by Cindy Woodsmall

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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. ( )
  theardentreader | Aug 14, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It's amazing that I am just now reviewing this book after all this time, but until last week, I had thought that I didn't receive it. I found it when I was looking for something else on my bookshelf.

I read this book pretty quickly, because I wanted to get the review in, plus a friend of mine had asked if she could borrow it when I was done, so I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I would have reading it at a more leisurely pace.

It is the story of two young people - one who is Amish, the other Mennonite, who fall in love with each other. It is a story of their struggles, their faith, and their commitment to all the things that are important to them.

I enjoyed this book, as I have all the other Cindy Woodsmall books that I have read. She is fast becoming one of the authors that I seek out when I am looking for something new to read.

I want to thank the publisher and the Early Reviewer's program for sending out this copy for me to review. It was an enjoyable read, and I would definitely recommend it. ( )
  kitchenwitch04 | May 9, 2013 |
In America live plain people. Plain people can be divided in mainly 2 groups: Mennonites and Amish. And between those groups, are different communities who allow different modern and western facilities as electricity, telephone and other things. The scent of cherry blossoms is a love story about Annie (Mennonite) and Aden (Amish).
Because Annie has a quarrel with her mother, she stays temporarily with her grandfather. In the same town as her grandfather, also live Amish people. Her grandfather is even a business partner of Adens family. Because Amish people can’t have electricity and it is a regulation of the law that restaurants do have electricity, otherwise they have to close their business, Adens family have an agreement with Annies grandfather. Because he is a Mennonite, he has electricity and can supply Adens family.
Adens family has been struck hard. Because of the same accident, Adens brother Roman can’t walk anymore and also his father has a poor health and can’t walk or stand all day. Aden has taken over the family diner, with Roman to help him. But Roman was a mechanic…. Ever since the accident Roman is very gloom, and hasn’t much faith anymore. He is dependent of his brother, who has his own grief. Then Annie comes to stay with her grandfather. She helped out in the diner before, and when Roman tries to help his uncle, repairing his generator, she helps out in the diner again.
Then it becomes clear, that Adens still loves Annie and she falls in love with him. But there can’t be any future for them, because both of them have joined their own church. If they want to marry someone of the other faith, they either have to leave their church, and be banned, or wait a long time before the other is accepted in their church and faith. Will all be well in the end?
The name of the novel is related to the orchard of Annie’s grandfather. He planted every year a cherry tree while he waited for permission to marry Annie’s grandmother. And after their marriage, he continued planting a tree a year. Their only daughter, Annie’s mother, was forced to marry after getting caught kissing with a boy, when fully clothed sitting on her bed. Of course, that was not a happy marriage and Annie’s father walked out on them 10 years ago.
Nowadays in the western world, we can’t imagine that different religions can prevent a marriage.
Then again, 50 or 60 years back, people from different churches couldn’t marry, with approval from their families.
I liked reading the story. Later, when I thought about the book, the story of Romeo and Julia came to mind. Will Aden and Annie yield to the counteraction of everybody and anyone or is there a happy end?
  hjvanderklis | Sep 28, 2012 |
I loved this book. It gives you the respective of two people though their eyes. One is a Old Order Mennonite and the other is from Old Order Amish. There are something going on between both families.

Both families now each other. Annie Martin grandfather is a partner of Zook Dinner. For they need his partnership to keep it running. Aden and Annie are finding it hard to settle their hearts. They try to to go separates ways. Annie grandfather tries to threaten the partnership.

You will need to read it to find out if they make it work. Who decides to change faiths to really get love the one they both want. ( )
  Lindz2012 | Sep 21, 2012 |
This is my second Cindy Woodsmall novella and I absolutely loved it. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms has a similar setting to The Christmas Singing; some of the characters from the latter novella make appearances in the former and vice-versa.

I requested this book for review because the Mennonite "vs." Amish topic caught my attention. I was curious and wanted to find out whether the couple in love would remain in the Mennonite or Amish community. As I read, I fell in love with the story and characters.

Something that really stands out right from the beginning is the way Cindy does not sugarcoat disagreements the Mennonites and Amish have among themselves. Frequently, bonnet fiction depict Plain people as leading very peaceful lifestyles and having very submissive children. Thus, you could imagine my surprise when I read about the young characters having disagreements with their elders. It was shocking, really.

It was also eye-opening how the Mennonite and Amish cultures differ. Prior to reading The Scent of Cherry Blossoms, I did not know that there is such a group as the Old Order Mennonite. I had always assumed that Mennonites are way more modern than the Amish, judging by the Mennonites in one of the Plain forums in cyberspace.

The main characters are endearing. Whether it is Aden who stutters, kind-hearted Annie, or frustrated Roman, you can easily empathize with their struggles and feel disappointed when they make mistakes. My favorite character is Aden. He is this young guy who is struggling between the decision of being with the girl he loves and keeping the Amish rules he has been taught from young. His family opposes the idea of him being in a relationship with a girl not belonging to the Amish community. To summarize it all, he is between a rock and a hard place.

All in all, The Scent of Cherry Blossoms quickly became another favorite book for me. The complications in the story along with what we can learn about the Mennonites and Amish makes this book an enjoyable and hard-to-put-down read. ( )
  Sugarpeach | Sep 8, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307446557, Hardcover)

Annie Martin loves the Plain ways of her Old Order Mennonite people, like those revered by her beloved grandfather. Retreating from a contentious relationship with her mother, Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge.  
But as spring moves into Pennsylvania and Annie spends time amongst the cherry trees with the handsome Aden Zook, she wishes she could forget how deeply the lines between the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are drawn.
Can Annie and Aden find a place for their love to bloom in the midst of the brewing storm?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:47 -0400)

"Mennonite and Amish. Two young people in love search for God's will in the midst of family and community disapproval"--

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