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

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

by Cindy Woodsmall


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

A star-crossed romance blossoms between an Old Order mennonite woman and an Old Order Amish man in this novel by New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735289703
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/21/2012
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,291,977
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of nearly two dozen books with more than 1.5 million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in numerous national media outlets. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. She can be found online at

Read an Excerpt

Annie added several lemons to the basket on the scale. “You have a little over two pounds.”

“As gut.” The gray-haired Amish woman smiled. “Ya, as gut.” Annie wasn’t as skilled with Pennsylvania Dutch as she’d like to be, but she definitely understood the phrase “yes, that’s good.” Her family had once known the Pennsylvania Dutch language well, but it had faded in the Martin home like a patch of sun-bleached wallpaper.

She’d been raised in a Plain home. Her clothing, with the flowery prints on her dress and apron and the circular prayer Kapp, was different from that of the woman standing in front of her, but Plain nonetheless. Annie’s cape dress and white head covering indicated she was one of the horse-and-buggy Mennonites. They were also called Old Order Mennonites, and unlike their Old Order Amish neighbors, Annie’s group had electricity and phones inside their homes.

An overhead fluorescent light flickered and buzzed. Annie pulled a paper bag from under the counter, wrote the price on it with a permanent marker, and slid the lemons into the sack. Her brother’s voice echoed through the almost-empty market, and she tried not to show her embarrassment. Working at the same market as her two loudmouthed brothers wasn’t always easy.

For any of them, she was sure.

The woman picked up a Gala apple and smelled it.

“Meh Ebbel?” Annie asked. The customer already had a sack of Red Delicious in her cart, but maybe she wanted some Galas too. She shook her head, set the apple in its bin on top of the dwindling mound, and took the sack from Annie. “Gross Dank.”

Annie started to respond in Pennsylvania Dutch, but when an Englischer woman came to the counter, she decided to speak in a language all of them knew. “You’re welcome.”

She turned to the Englischer woman. “May I help you?”

“Naval oranges?”

“Oh, absolutely.” Annie grabbed her stepladder from its hiding spot. She’d been unable to keep up with the demand this afternoon, and her brother, who was supposed to restock her supply from the back room, hadn’t been in sight for hours. She knew where he was, but she wasn’t supposed to leave her stand. Besides, if she complained to him, he’d bring her less fresh produce next time and disappear for even longer periods. “I tried to get a fresh box down to fill the bin earlier today, but I was interrupted. Give me just a minute.” She went up two rungs. “They are delicious, aren’t they?”

The woman sniffed a kiwi. “I bought several pounds last week, and my family gobbled them up.”

Foul language, followed by her brother’s sarcastic laugh, rang out. Reminding herself that customers didn’t know she was related to the loudmouth, Annie climbed to the top rung of the stepladder and reached for the box of navel oranges. Why did Glen always put the heaviest boxes in the hardest places to reach? She pulled it toward her, straining to get it down fromits perch without spilling anything. With the box almost in her arms, she saw an avalanche of oranges tumbling toward her face. One pelted her on the cheek. She flinched, turning her head, and was hit on the other cheek by two more oranges, but she didn’t lose her grip on the box itself. The few other loose oranges fell to the floor.

Glad the Englischer woman wasn’t close enough to get hit and relieved she was buying oranges instead of pineapples, Annie held on tight to the crate as she made her way down the ladder. “Here we are.” After setting the box on the floor, she touched her stinging cheeks, wondering how red they were. The phrase painted woman came to mind, and she suppressed a chuckle. How about a fruit-smacked woman? Did the Plain church frown at that?

An announcement that the market was closing came over the loudspeaker. She bagged the oranges, marked the price, and said goodbye to the woman and then began cleaning up the stand and surrounding area.

It was Saturday evening, and themarket wouldn’t be open to customers again until next Thursday. Annie’s next day to work would be Wednesday, when all the deliveries arrived and the main prep work was accomplished. She needed to repack whatever was left in the bins and put them in the refrigerator before scrubbing down the units.

The store grew quiet except for a few employees talking to each other from their booths. A piece of loose tin on the roof rattled as the March winds howled. Winter remained shackled to the land, and Annie had long grown weary of waiting for the earth to once again tilt toward the sun.

Katie, an Amish woman at the bakery stand, asked Leah at the vegetable stand if she had any slightly aging zucchini they could use next week for making bread. Leah said she had a few.

Annie had a box of healthy but bruised fruits to take over to them in a few minutes, including the oranges that had fallen from the box to the floor. They looked fine today, but internally they had to be bruised. “Katie, I have some naval oranges to give you. They smacked me in the face before landing on the floor with a thud.”

Katie continued sweeping out her stall. “Gut. They’ll be good flavoring in my orange-spice pound cakes.”

Whatever Annie didn’t get scrubbed today could wait until she returned on Wednesday. She loved coming to work, but Wednesdays were her favorite days. Not having customers gave her uninterrupted time to prepare for the other three busy days.

After cleaning up, she carried her box of apples, oranges, and kiwis to Katie. “Here you go.”

“Denki. Not good for eating outright, but perfect for baking.”

Katie put the box in a commercial-sized refrigerator. Sometimes it was hard to believe that an Old Order Amish man owned this huge, nice market and that ten years ago, before Annie lived in New York, this market was a lone stand carrying only fruits, vegetables, and a few baked goods. Now it housed four large sections—fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and meats. There were also two eateries, a florist, and a gift shop under the same roof. In the last three years, she’d worked in each one, but running the fruit stand was her favorite. By the time she went home at night, her hair, skin, and clothing smelled like a cornucopia of delicious fruits.

“I bet our driver is here.” Katie removed her white baker’s apron and put on her Amish black one.

Annie and four other women headed for the back room to grab their coats and bonnets from their lockers before going out the door of the loading dock. One Englischer driver brought and picked up all the horse-and-buggy Plain workers, which amounted to nine people most days. Since the morning trip started before daylight, the riders tended to be quiet and to doze during the hour drive, but on the way home, the women usually chatted and laughed about the day’s events. Annie looked forward to the jokes about those oranges smacking her in the face that would make the rounds in the van this evening.

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The Scent of Cherry Blossoms: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Woodsmall's is a gifted storyteller. I have read and loved most of her books. The story was sweet and encouraging like her others. The only reason why I did not give 5 stars is because I felt the end was a bit abrupt. Something changed overnight and the story was done!
Evangeline_Han More than 1 year ago
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.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice H. for Readers Favorite What a beautiful story of soul-searchng love and commitment! In Cincy Woodsmall's latest story "The Scent of Cherry Blossoms", Annie Martin, an Old Order Mennonite woman, and Aden Zook, an Old Order Amish man, reunite when Annie is sent to live with her grandfather in Apple Ridge because Annie and her mother are somewhat at odds. Aden is strapped with having to support the family by working at the diner when his brother and father are permanently injured. Annie steps right in to help and she steps right into old feelings of love and respect for Aden. The promise of romance is forbidden between an Old Mennonite and an Old Amish, both of whom have already taken vows within their respective churches. But what is young love to do when faced with itself? Both Annie and Aden must consider what their potential courting might mean for both families. For Aden, it will mean the family will be ostracized and will lose their means of support. For Annie, it means she will be shunned and forced to leave those she loves. The family support and gut-wrenching decisions of the young people are a real joy to the reader. Feelings are discussed out in the open, in the raw form in which they are presented. There is no self-sacrifice and yet, no yielding to the love which ties together these two young people. The wonderful character development pulls in the reader and forces a bonding which will carry through to the last page of the book.
iblog4books More than 1 year ago
What a sweet story about forgiveness, understanding, and eliminating prejudice. I'm not familiar with the differences between Amish and Mennonite, but the author did a good job showing both similarities and differences. I also appreciated the strong gospel message throughout. [4.5 stars]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy all of Cindy Woodsmall books. She never disappoints with her books.
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
The Scent of Cherry Blossoms Cindy Woodsmall Summary of Book: 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? I enjoyed this story for the most part. While the ending was no surprise it was interesting to see how the result was work its way out. At times it was very stressful to read knowing that these people were entering dangerous waters within their respective communities. It did not seem realistic how it ended. I preferred the others in the series. On the positive side the characters were likeable and believable. That is why I was able to finish it. I found the behavior of others to be very believable when the couple was found out and very human. These aspects are sometimes played down by other authors and this is Cindy Woodsmall’s gift in writing comes in she does not shy away from these things. That is another reason to keep reading. The characters were easy to see myself in them and yet they were realistic in their concerns, worries and troubles. That more than anything is the redeeming qualities of this book. I would like to thank WaterBrook Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book. Love being strong error than all obstacles
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this story, but felt that it was cut short. It would have been nice to read an epilogue that gave us a peek years into their future as to the outcome of their choices. If you enjoy reading stories about the Amish, this story is a nice one. ****esk 03/2017****
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Lindz2012 More than 1 year ago
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.
ibjoy1953 More than 1 year ago
Wow Cindy Woodsmall does it again! Long time friends Aden and Annie were secretly attracted to each other and had been for a long time, thought they could not let one another know because they could never be together for a lifetime because of their religious beliefs. When Annie’s mother suggested Annie go stay with her grandfather who lived next to Aden’s family, Annie started helping out in the family restaurant. After both Aden’s mom and Annie’s grandfather figured out that they were spending too much time together, they knew something had to be done. Would they forbid the two to see each other? Is there a way the two can commit to one another for life? For those and more answers, you will need to read the book. Cindy writes a wonderful astory of forbidden love between two plain people, with real and believable characters that will capture your heart and you will hurt with them, and want to pray for their relationship to succeed. The reader will see that difficulties come to all people, even the Amish. This is a short fast read, and that you will enjoy. I received this book free from Waterbrook Press to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55
Barbarian_Librarian More than 1 year ago
Growing up I had never read an Amish romance, I can now say that I have officially read three. While they aren't my favorite, and they certainly aren't a genre that holds a spot on my bookshelf, every once in a while it's a little bit of a guilty pleasure to read something so far out of my usual reading pattern. Coincidentally, all the Amish "chick lit" I have read is written by the same author, Cindy Woodsmall. Her Latest work, "The Scent of Cherry Blossoms" follows basically the same story line as the last two of hers I read. This book isn't necessarily part of a series, its meant to be a stand alone romance but If you happened to read "The Christmas Singing" you'll notice that it takes place in the same town and some of the characters are the same. Basically, a young Mennonite girl by the name of Annie goes to stay with her Daadi (grandfather) because she thinks her mother and brothers are straying too far from the faith. While in Apple Ridge with her grandfather, Annie helps out a local Amish family (the Zooks) run their diner while their crippled son, Roman, is away working on a distant relative's generator. Roman's twin, Aden, has always had a huge crush on Annie, and working in the diner together becomes too much for the both of them. Their romance however, is forbidden because Mennonites and Amish are not allowed to mix. If you want to find out how it ends (spoiler alert, ends just like the Christmas Singing did!) read until the very last page. It's a little sappy, a little predictable, and a little over the top but like I said it's a guilty pleasure. "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this book .
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
I loved this story and I hated when it ended. I wanted it to continue. I wanted more. I wanted to read that every thing worked out peachy keen for Aden and Annie. This is a forbidden love story between Aden Zook of the Old Order Amish and Annie Martin of the Old Order Mennonite. One must understand that a relationship between the two could never happen because of the vows each of them has made to their respective faiths. It doesn’t matter that they are a perfect fit for each other, it could never be. This book was a real page turner. While we might wish for the two young people to be together it seems that there are just too many obstacles. Their own families are against any type of relationship between the two. Would Aden’s Mother and Father give their approval with the risk of losing their Diner? Would Annie’s Grandfather relent and accept a relationship between the two? Most of all, would this be God’s will for the couple to be together? This is a book by Cindy Woodsmall that you don’t want to miss. I don’t know if there will be a sequel. I most certainly hope so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i thought it was wonderful when i got it from the library now i would love to own the cd i also love it since im part amish myself
PrincessMK More than 1 year ago
The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall was a sweet and quick read! It was refreshing to jump into dialogue that wasn't derogatory or tasteless in nature. The story starts with complicated family relationships and ends with sacrifices in order to follow God's promptings. My limited knowledge of the inner workings of the Amish and Mennonite communities was increased and this book has re-ignited my interest in how they live their lives. I highly recommend this book
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Pickle331 More than 1 year ago
I have discovered that I enjoy reading stories (mostly romances) that take place in the Amish country. They provide insight into a society that often seems a complete throwback to a time of 150 years ago (or more)...a society that I don't understand. However, as I read them, it also becomes clear that members of that society have similar problems to friends. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall is part of that genre. I started it, expecting it to follow a pretty similar format to previous ones. In many ways it does. But there's a difference in this one--an unexpected difference. I had always thought that the Amish and Mennonite faith traditions were pretty close cousins, that the primary differences dealt with the use of cars and electricity. That's true--but there are deeper differences as well, and they are clearly expressed in the relationship between the two young people whose relationship is at the heart of this novel. Both of the characters (Old Order Mennonite Annie Martin and Old Order Amish Aden Burkholder) are faithful members of their faith tradition and have no intention of doing anything to damage that relationship. But, because they are thrown together in a situation not of their making, they begin to develop romantic feelings for each other. The rest of the book is the story of their struggle --to allow that romance to continue to develop (which has the potential of creating significant challenges to their relationship with their faith communities) or to deny their hearts. There is no final answer, but the interweaving of the families and the faith traditions is a fascinating look at the diversities in a society that often seems monolithic to outsiders. This book was provided free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for reviewing it.
Cassie_D96 More than 1 year ago
After a falling out with her mother Annie Martin is sent for an extended stay with her beloved Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge. Her return to this special place brings her back into contact with Aden Zook, an Amish neighbor who runs the diner of which her grandfather is part owner. However it seems that things have changed between them and she begins to look at Aden in a whole new light, but as she is a Mennonite the two can never be together. Aden Zook has had to grow up quickly after the accident that crippled his twin brother and left his father with chronic pain. He has not only had to run the family diner, along with his brother, but he has had to become his brother's legs. A stutter that has plagued him since childhood has always made him shy, preventing him from ever developing a relationship with a woman. That and memories of the only girl to ever catch his attention, Annie Martin. Annie and Aden have a forbidden love to rival that of Romeo and Juliet (without the tragedy I promise), held apart not by a family feud but by their vows to God. When their secret relationship is discovered what will their choice be? There is also a side story involving Aden's brother Roman and his accepting his injuries, along with a special young girl who seems to see past his useless legs. I thought this was a really sweet and happy romance, I actually particularly liked Roman's part of the story. The characters were interesting and believable and the setting was beautiful. ****SPOILER ALERT**** There was one thing that bothered me, the idea that one of the characters was willing to break their vow. However this character did very carefully analyze their relationship with God and made certain they were putting it first in their life. It also did seem that this vow was to the church and not to God. Well to close I will say that, particularly if you love Amish romances, this is a sweet and relaxing read. I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah's blogging for books program in exchange for my review.
bgh More than 1 year ago
I was waiting to receive this book so I could review it and it did not disappoint. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall is the third in a series and I hope there is more. The more I read, the more characters develop and the more I want to hear about the new characters that are introduced. I have only read the second and third books but they can be easily read as a story in themselves and are not dependent on having read the previous book. The first thing I noticed about the book was it's pretty cover and it was so inviting to read. I was fortunate and received the book right before a weekend where I had nothing going on. I literally started reading this book Sunday afternoon and finished the same day. Once I got to the middle of the book I knew I would have to keep reading till I figured out what happened. The love story was cute and written well. I love the sacrifice that was made in the end to be with the right person. It demonstrated a difficult love as other relationships with family members were hurt. This would never be easy but made the story that much better. This book was worth the read and I only wish it would have lasted longer.
lovetoteachLB More than 1 year ago
Cindy Woodsmall writes another great Amish novel, The Scent of Cherry Blossoms. It is a romance novel from the heart of Amish Country and we are introduced to Annie Martin who is of the Old Order Mennonite people. Unfortunately, Annie and her Mom do not get along and it actually surprised me that her Mom "kicks" her out of her house and Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge. Daadi Moses lives near a restaurant run by the Amish. The Amish don't believe in using electricity but the Old Mennonite do so because of Daadi Moses, the restaurant is able to have electricity. While Annie lives with her Daadi Moses she helps out at the restaurant that is run by Aden's family and where Aden works as well. A relationship builds but when it is found out, both families have huge objections. Aden's brother is one of them because he was in an accident that left him wheelchair bound and he needs Aden to help him. Annie and Aden start meeting in the evenings by the cherry trees that are beginning to blossom. And Annie tells Aden the story behind the cherry trees. You'll have to read about that story and how the romance turns out when you get the book, The Scent of Cherry Blossoms! I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.