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.
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
Published by Gallery Books (May 16, 2017)
Genre: Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance/Family Relationships
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Kindle, 336 pages
FCC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book.
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Review of The Simplicity of Cider
I must confess this is my first Amy Reichert read, and it won’t be my last. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me the pleasure of reading and reviewing it. One temptation for me is the reference to Door County in Wisconsin, a place I’ve always dreamed of visiting but haven’t yet made it there. So, thanks to the author for whisking me away on my dream trip.
The Simplicity of Cider combines the contemporary world and a romance, but the romance plays, at least in my opinion, a minor role. Essential to my enjoyment of the book is Sanna, her memories from growing up on the orchard, her continuing love of the orchard, and her success in crafting cider. Sanna is independent, intelligent, and happy.
Reviews and comments about The Simplicity of Cider hint at the inclusion of magical realism. There is a blip here and there in my reading, but I think it perhaps is more about the theory of synesthesia, a phenomenon in which people smell, taste, and hear color. Not all at once in every case but usually individually with a specific sense. If this is what the author intended, I applaud her use of it. If not, my apologies to her at my attempt to mix and mingle magical realism and synesthesia.
Back to the meat of the story. I’ve just shared Sanna’s independence, intelligence, and happiness. All that is correct until…certain things begin to happen.
First, Isaac and his son, Bass, show up while travelling across the country after the death of Bass’s mom, estranged for some time and her passing a secret unknown to Bass until Isaac sorts out how to deal with it. Isaac and Bass’s presence disturbs Sanna’s normal routine, and she finds it difficult to adjust. At the same time, she is struggling with financial problems about the orchard and its potential loss as well as the only home she has ever known.
Using a fine brush and palette, Reichert paints a beautifully detailed image of the orchard and te surrounding area. As I said above, I have never visited Door County but now feel as if I have. The smells of an orchard, its apples, and the ciders made there were temptations page-by-page. Character development is equally done well, and I became a champion for Sanna throughout. (Need I say I really like strong female characters?)
There is enough tension in the storyline to keep you engaged and wanting to know more. Once the sparks begin to appear on the page between Sanna and Isaac, the relationship hardly takes off like a rocket launch. It’s movements are slow, easy, and respectful of the struggles each are having as individuals.
I have no reservation in recommending The Simplicity of Cider to you. It is a delightful story, filled with lovable and enjoyable characters, set in a beautiful part of our country. Amy Reichert is a stellar writer in her ability to draw the reader in immediately and then to keep the reader engaged. You will enjoy this book whether you’re at the beach this summer or thinking about apples next fall.
Meet Amy E. Reichert
Amy Reichert earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.