The Simplicity of Cider Review
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Sometimes, we just need to get away from it all—to escape the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and enjoy a simpler life (if only for a few days). In author Amy E. Reichert’s The Simplicity of Cider, a man and his son escape heartbreak at home and fall in love with a different way of life on an orchard far away.

The story travels to Door County, Wisconsin, where Sanna Lund and her father are struggling to keep their family’s orchard afloat. Her brother, Anders, thinks they should sell the land and move on, but Sanna refuses to leave the only home she’s ever known.

As the Lunds begin preparing for another harvest, Sanna’s father unexpectedly hires single dad Isaac Banks, who’s traveling the country for the summer, in an attempt to shelter his 10-year-old son, Sebastian, from tragedy at home. And as the families work together, they also work through their own personal heartbreaks.

  
 
The Simplicity of Cider is a story about wounded people and dark secrets. Most of the characters have their unspoken hurts—and many of them are keeping something important from someone they love. As they work together to prepare for the harvest—and to save the orchard—they also wrestle with their own concerns. Isaac keeps an important secret from his son. Sanna worries about what she’ll do if they’re forced to sell the orchard. And they both struggle with their feelings for one another, knowing that the end of the season will send Isaac back to his life in California. It’s a novel with more than enough tension, conflict, and (of course) romance to keep readers interested in how everything will work out for the characters and the orchard.

One of the story’s greatest challenges, however, is Sanna, the tough-as-nails cider maker with deep, hidden pain. Instead of coming off as strong but damaged, she’s blunt and bitter and often surprisingly harsh. She doesn’t like kids, and she has no problem letting people know it (even the kids themselves). She tends to lash out at anyone around her. And while the people in town see her as one of their own, she prefers to stay away from them—because she doesn’t actually like anyone. Though her hurts are understandable, she’s a prickly character—and not only does it make her a less-than-lovable main character, but it also makes Isaac’s instant attraction and growing feelings for this scowling, snapping, angry woman feel rather unlikely.

While the story is often as charming as the setting—and many of the characters are lovable—the standoffish main character makes for a somewhat challenging read. So while The Simplicity of Cider has a certain appeal to it, it isn’t as breezy and sweet as many contemporary romances.


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