I picked this book up on a whim, when it was offered as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) on NetGalley, and thankfully the gamble paid off.
It’s a sweet and charming read. The story revolves around Sanna, a prickly, yet quiet and lonesome girl, whose whole world revolves around her family orchard, until single Dad Isaac enters it, with his quirky and adorable 10 year old son, Bass, and like you would expect, love blooms.
Now I must say that this isn’t the kind of blurb/book I typically gravitate towards, but I was curious about the author, as I had heard about how she has a knack for mixing my two favorite things – food and romance – very well.
And after reading this book, I have to agree with the popular opinion, she is indeed pretty good at it.
Though I have a feeling that I might enjoy her debut (Coincidence of Coconut Cake) more than this one, because from the blurb, that one looks right up my alley. So I am planning to read it pretty soon. Anyway, I digress.
The Simplicity of Cider – Things I Liked
As far as this book is concerned, I must say that the setting of the orchard was definitely the highlight for me.
Which, admittedly, is quite surprising even to me, because I am not what you would call an outdoorsy nature lover type; I am more of a housebound bookworm, one who cannot even figure out how to keep a single plant alive.
But be that as it may, I loved reading about the Lund family orchard with the several varieties of apple trees, including Sanna’s favorite Looms, and how the life of some of the members of the family intertwined with the seasons & rhythms of nature.
The writing was very atmospheric. I felt like I was right there in the apple orchard. I could smell the sweet scent of apples, hear the sounds of the crickets chirping, and feel the warm breeze rattling the trees, as I walked through the orchard in firefly light. It was almost like taking a vacation without leaving home.
Things I Did Not Like
Now as far as what I did not like, there were mostly two things.
For one, I have mixed feelings about the female lead. In-fact, for the first half of the book, I really did not like her much. She came across as a self-absorbed, overgrown teen (and she was in her early 30s!) who was incapable of understanding POVs that don’t align with hers.
Though I must say that she did kind of redeem herself later when we see another facet of her personality, where she is quick to own up to her mistakes and equally quick to apologize without ego hassles. But I think in this case, the initial impression left a lasting impact.
The other issue I had with the book was that some plot lines were just not tied up well . For instance, the orchard was being vandalized, and Sanna doesn’t even attempt to figure out who is trying to kill her trees. Sure there were other things going on, but that’s life, something or the other is always going on. But wouldn’t we take the time to investigate, if something that is important to us seems to be in danger?
Anyway, in-spite of the issues that I had with this book, the story had enough redeeming qualities for me to overlook the things that I did not like as much.
I would recommend this book if you need a warm and fuzzy read this summer. And oh, also if you need an orchard vacation without leaving the house.
That’s all from my end folks. Have you read this book? Or any other by this author? I am curious to know if you guys have read The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. If you have, do share your thoughts. Also, which book/series has been your favorite summer read?
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