The Scent of Cherry Blossoms
by Cindy Woodsmall
Nineteen year old Annie Martin lives the Plain lifestyle of Old Order Mennonite with her mother and siblings. She visits her Daadi Moses sometimes, the only one in the family that seems to care about her grandfather. Annie's mother and grandfather had a falling out and her mother won't even answer the phone when he calls. Her mother would never tell Annie what happened and when Annie's father left, 10 years ago, she would not explain that either.
Aden Zook lives the Plain lifestyle of the Amish and with his parents, twin brother and other siblings. They are neighbors to Annie's Daadi Moses and have been business partners for many years in the restaurant that the Zook's run. Daadi Moses, as Old Order Mennonite, is allowed to have electricity, but the Zook's are not, if there is no electricity in the restaurant the state will shut it down. Aden's twin brother Roman, and his father were in an accident five years ago and Roman now faces the rest of his life in a wheelchair and his father can walk but can't be on his feet for long periods of time. It's up to Aden to get Roman up in the mornings, into his wheelchair, in and out of the shower, besides lifting him into any buggy or vehicle when he wants to go someplace. Aden is a stutterer so he doesn't talk much but he is a great artist. Roman is surprised when he sneaks a peek at his drawings, he can't believe his eyes and while looking at them he realizes where Aden's true live lies.
Annie spent time with her Daadi Moses sporadically throughout her life and went to help out at the restaurant with her grandfather after the accident. She liked Aden and he cared for her, but as friends, so each of them thought.
When Annie was home with her mother she worked at a produce market as did two of her brothers. The boys were soon smoking, drinking and gambling but they still seemed to find more favor with their mother than Annie did. One day after work there was an argument when they got home, so Annie got kicked out and sent to stay with her grandfather. She went to visit the Zook's and ended up helping Aden at the restaurant since they were extremely busy that week and Roman was helping his uncle and wouldn't be able to work.
Annie and Aden grew closer and enjoyed being together. But they could never marry because of their religious orders. Whichever one left their church would be banned and the other would be looked on as a trouble maker. When Daadi Moses finds out that they are spending time together outside of the restaurant he goes to Mrs Zook and demands Aden stay away from Annie or he will withdraw his partnership in the restaurant. If that happens the Zook's wouldn't have any money to live on so she tells Aden to stay away from Annie. He wants to but can't, Daadi Moses then threatens Aden, so he tries again. Annie's grandfather finally storms to the restaurant and sends her packing right back to her mother, the driver is waiting as he confronts her.
What will happen to the Zook's, will they get to keep their restaurant, what will happen to Annie when she shows up at her mother's, and what will Aden do now?
This was an interesting book, I knew that the Amish and the Old Order Mennonite's had some differences, I thought they got along with each other and were friends usually. This story gives me the impression that they 'tolerated' each other but there is no way one can leave one order and join the other without dire consequences. I really enjoyed this story and Cindy really draws you into the storyline. I would highly recommend this book as a great investment of time and money.