Every now and then the release gods bless me with opportunities, and today’s is in the form of the latest novel from Amy E. Reichert – full of hope, delicious and palpable descriptions and plenty of challenges just to add zing. Narrated by Rachel Dulude, please read on for my review of
The Simplicity of Cider
My first introduction to Amy E. Reichert’s writing was a favorite story also set in Wisconsin and focusing on a life surrounded by food and friends (The Coincidence of Coconut Cake). I was so excited to have the opportunity to both read and listen to this story, I could hardly contain myself. And, fortunately for us both, I can say that BOTH versions kept me moving forward and engaged, wanting to know what was next, and imagining the scenes so aptly described that the scents nearly wafted through the house. The story is built around Sanna, a fifth-generation cider maker, and quite content in her rather solitary life of tending the orchard and the press, much to the dismay of her brother who would prefer it all be sold. The orchard is again functioning at a loss, and while the orchard and the business are Sanna’s refuge, away from people who may ask more of her than she is willing to share, it is a burden on their aging father Einar, and his health isn’t the best.
Enter Isaac and his son Bass: on a retreat from their home in California as Isaac wants to shelter Bass from his rather extreme and troubled mother and the fallout from her actions. While he’s intrigued with Wisconsin, this is simply a pit stop until Einar offers him a job, helping he and Sanna in the orchard and with the press. While their first introduction doesn’t go quite as smoothly as planned, surprisingly Sanna warms to Bass far sooner than Isaac. She’s got walls surrounding walls, and is near single-minded in her determination to keep the orchard alive, despite threats from vandals, her brother’s pushing to sell and her own self-doubts.
Throughout the story, even as some threads do meander to nowhere, the gradual connection between Isaac and Sanna, influenced by their friendship and her relationship with Bass the importance of family ties and histories comes to the fore: with good and bad secrets and issues revealed and worked through, Gently winding to a conclusion with atmosphere, emotion and a sense of honest appreciation of the life lived on the orchard allow readers to curl up as if with a warm blanket and warm cider (or an apple cider donut), enjoying every moment.
Narration is provided by Rachel Dulude and she brings Sanna to life clearly and simply – a brusque no-nonsense approach to her conversations that gradually softens in tone to show her own growth and comfort in the evolving story. Isaac and Bass also are clearly defined, as were the host of characters that appeared, never losing that sense of intention that the author wrote into the story, but never overworking an accent, affectation or emotion to the negative. Another wonderful story that demands you shut away the world and engage fully with it.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: The Simplicity of Cider
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Romantic Elements
Narrator: Rachel Dulude
Published by: Gallery Books, Tantor Audio
Published on: 16 May, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley, Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 42 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.
Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.
Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.
Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.
From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley, Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.