The tale of young love separated by family loyalty is as old as Shakespeare, yet it remains a well-used plot in today's novels. In This Amish tale by Cindy Woodsmall, Annie and Aden find themselves falling in love as they work together in his family's restaurant. While both are believers, she is Mennonite and he Amish. Their relationship could not only separate them from their families but also ruin his family's livelihood, which is in part run by Annie's grandfather. Will the strength of their love be enough to bring the two families and communities together?
I'm not a huge fan of Amish fiction just because I feel the plots start to all seem the same, but I felt Woodsmall branched out in her plot...but she added so many plots that the story became diluted in their development and therefore less poignant. In addition to Aden and Annie, readers were introduced to Annie's family--her parents are separated (they can't divorce), and Annie and her family are at odds. Aden has a stuttering problem, and his twin Roman is stuck in a wheel-chair after an accident. Roman is dealing with feeling like less of a man because he depends on Aden's strength. He meets a fiery girl who is a verbal match for him. On top of all that, you have the Mennonite/Amish conflict.
While I enjoyed the story of Aden and Annie, I felt it was boggled down with too many side plots that were wrapped up way too quickly. However, fans of sweet romance will enjoy Aden and Annie's story. I loved their meetings in the cherry blossoms (and the story behind how they were planted), and I love the tree symbolism at the end of the book. Instead of telling both brothers' romances, I would have liked to see better development of Aden and Annie as characters themselves, with each other, and with those around them.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Fans of Amish fiction will enjoy it, more so than those who are casual readers of Amish tales.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.