Thursday, December 19, 2013

This one hurt

          Perhaps it is the curse of having such a wonderful first book in a series that leads to the second book being a bit of a let down and to the third being completely the opposite of what was looked for, but for whatever reason, Cindy Woodsmall's third book in her Amish Vines and Orchards series, For Every Season, was completely painful. After reading the first book in literally one sitting, it seemed odd to have to work a little harder on the second book, and completely shocking that the third book was such a struggle.  The writing is still stellar; however, the characters that were so wonderful in the first book seem to be becoming watered down or losing who they were.  Jacob and Samuel, for instance, seem to completely switch personalities (this began in the second book but blossomed into full swing in this third book).  The fear is to be judging this book too harshly as Woodsmall is a wonderfully skilled writer, but the disappointment in what she's done with Jacob and Rhoda is acute.  The basic storyline still moves along nicely with the right mixture of the reader being able to guess the direction it moves in while the details are still little gems to be discovered.  The side characters are developing in fun ways, which shouldn't be a surprise considering how well she developed Jacob, Rhoda, and Samuel in the first book; however, even given the opportunity to review the fourth book from waterbrook multnomah publishing it is uncertain if the free read would be worth the effort to get through the next book.  Readers who are not such a fan of Jacob in particular should still read this book, but those who love Jacob should likely stick with book one.  His character is changed the most, and it is not believable exactly how he changed.  Apologies to Woodsmall for such a regard for her third book, but it became just too difficult to enjoy.