Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, can Sylvia find relief from the echoes of her past…or will they shape her future forever?
Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm.Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Aug 2011
From the book
From her perch on the milking stool, Sylvia patted the cow's side and cooed to her, enjoying the warm softness of the cow's hide. "You're feeling better now, ya?" Puffs of white vapor left her mouth when she spoke, and her fingers ached from the cold.
The cow mooed gently as if answering her.
Sylvia removed the claw milker from the cow's udder and sprayed Udder Care to prevent chaffing and to ward off mastitis. She set the stool and bucket out of the way, moved to the far end of the stalls, and pulled the lever that opened the tie rails, releasing the last round of cows from their milking stalls.
Daed lifted two buckets of milk and headed for the milk house. "What are you humming this morning?"
"Oh. Uh..." She hadn't realized she was humming, so she had to pause for a moment and think. "Moon River."
"Sure does sound nice. This place don't seem the same when you're off. No one else I know hums while working a herd." He disappeared into the milk house to dump the fresh liquid into the milk tank.
Unlike a lot of Daeds, Sylvia's hadn't minded when she bought an iPod during the early years of her rumschpringe. The Englischer who picked up their milk three times a week had always recharged it for her. But then, five years ago, it fell under a cow during a milking and was trampled to death. Since she still hadn't joined the faith, she could've bought another iPod, but Lilly was seven by then and hanging around the barn more. It would have hurt Lilly to realize that her older sister didn't always keep the Old Ways, so she never replaced it. But she missed some of her favorite songs, like "Moon River." The lyrics about the dream maker always made her think of Elam.
Her pulse quickened as she envisioned Elam next to her in the barn. His good looks seemed more suited to modeling in Englischer ads than managing a dairy herd, and she found his physical presence frustratingly compelling. He frequently mentioned marriage lately, and she could imagine their future together, always being close to him, waking alongside him in the mornings. But she had reservations too. Didn't she want more from true love than heart pounding attraction? Maybe she just needed to spend more time talking with him about their "rainbow's end," and all her reservations would melt into nothingness.
She patted a few cows on the rump, gently moving them along. The herd desperately wanted in the barn at milking time, each cow hurrying to a stall in the milking parlor, but they weren't eager to leave the building afterward. Their contented lowing and the ease with which they lumbered outdoors toward the bunk feeder and water trough made her smile. The large creatures were the same today as they'd always been--peaceful and productive.
In a side stall a new calf nursed from its mother. Ginger slid her head across the wooden gate, and Sylvia rubbed her long forehead. Sylvia had been up half the night making sure Ginger didn't have any trouble bringing the calf into the world. Fortunately, Sylvia hadn't needed to pull the calf or call a vet. Both were victories she was proud of.
Two years ago after she'd cried over the death of both a cow and her calf, her Daed did the unthinkable. He gave her the right to tend to the breeding of the herd as she saw fit. Her ways took more effort than his, but she'd not lost a cow or a calf yet. Milk production was up, and the overall health of the herd had improved. She had her grandpa's teachings to thank for that.
Her Daed returned from the milk house. "I bet you're thinking about Daadi Fisher."
"Ya, I think of him every time a healthy calf is born." As a child she'd been her...
"This third entry in the Ada's House series is sure to please fans of the first two novels. Fans of Amy Clipston and Marta Perry will enjoy its engaging characters and homespun feel." - Library Journal
"Oh, blessed insomnia! Cindy Woodsmall is a master at stealing your heart and your sleep with powerful love stories as pure and haunting as the Amish community in which they are set. With crisp prose, flesh-andblood characters who live and breathe on the page, and a spiritual heritage that nourishes the soul, The Harvest of Grace is a rich bounty of unforgettable reading that is just 'plain' perfect." - Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change ser
"You don't have to be a fan of Amish stories to love a Cindy Woodsmall book. The Harvest of Grace's heroine, Sylvia, won me over from the first page, and I cheered her through the story. Woodsmall writes a beautiful page-turner with heart-gripping twists. A worthy read." - Rachel Hauck, award-winning author of Dining with Joy
"A treasure chest, for sure... The wisdom in these stories is time-tested and true--plain and simple." - Karen Kingsbury, New York Times best-selling author of Unlocked and Shades of Blue
"[Cindy Woodsmall] paints a vivid backdrop of Amish and Mennonite cultures with fascinating detail and memorable clarity." - Tamera Alexander, best-selling author of Rekindled Harvest of Garace
"Cindy Woodsmall writes real--real people, real conflicts, real emotions. When you open her book, you enter her world and live the story with the characters." - Kim Vogel Sawyer, author of Where Willows Grow and Waiting for Summer's Return