Cover Image: The Simplicity of Cider

The Simplicity of Cider

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Member Reviews

NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4
Sanna has always been an island of her own making. Growing up in a broken family didn’t help matters either. So when Isaac and Bass stumble upon their orchard Sanna doesn’t know how to be a civilized person. 
Another wonderful read from Ms. Reichert. I really enjoyed watching Sanna try to figure out how to be a person. She was great with Bass, even when he messed up and broke things. Sanna and Isaac were wonderful together and the ending!!!  There were tears!! I am looking forward to what Ms. Reichert has in store for us next. 

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
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This book reminded me of First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen: magical! It’s not wand and wizard type magical, but more like “can you believe this is happening I think it’s a miracle” type magical. And I loved it. 

Sanna is a tough nut to crack. She’s the primary worker on her family farm, the sole apple orchard and cider person, and very focused on keeping her farm and family intact. Sanna is protective, territorial, and averse to visitors. 

When Isaac and his son Sebastian appear at the farm and endear themselves to Sanna’s pa, Sanna is more annoyed than anything else. But Sebastian’s presence softens her heart a little … just enough to let Isaac in, too. 

Sanna’s love for the apples and love for her family save the farm from external threats. It’s that love that saves Sanna from herself, too, and provides room for Isaac and Sebastian in her life. 

I just couldn’t get over the specialness of  Sanna’s abilities with the apple orchard. It was nice to see someone care that much about their land and what grows on it. And I appreciated her loyalty to her family and the land. 

This novel was a lot of twinkles and touches and glances and fairy lights. Not my usual fare, and I’m kind of glad about that. The Simplicity of Cider is a special book that will stay with me for a long time. 

https://randombookmuses.com/2017/06/25/review-the-simplicity-of-cider-by-amy-e-reichert/


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2039548643
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Didn't get to finish it but I like the author and I've read all of her works that have come out   I have to wait till it comes out in  print to finish.
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A great option for Sarah Addison Allen fans! Deep family roots watered with a splash of magic. This was an enjoyable read with engaging characters.
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Loved the different  relationships featured in this book. Characters were relatable and well developed. Filled with charm!
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Although I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher, all opinions remain my own. 

A good story pulls you in with characters who are real and believable. I think I fell in love with these characters as soon as I opened the book. With each page that turned, another layer of the characters showed up. There is so much more running through this book then just the story of a father and son road trip. Having it set in an apple orchard was just perfect for me, having been raised around apple trees. I love, love, loved this book.
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THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER is the latest novel by Amy E. Reichert, author of Luck, Love & Lemon Pie and The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.  Her latest novel takes place in Door County, Wisconsin and features Sanna Lund who sees various apple flavors as vibrant colors and is trying to start her own cider business at the orchard which has been in her family for five generations.

As Sanna works to keep the orchard going, she is joined by Isaac Banks and his young son Sebastian (affectionately called Bass and sometimes Minnow or Trout).  Isaac is trying to spare Bass some heartache by spending the summer together, travelling across country from California. It is a struggle for everyone, particularly when Sanna’s father is injured and her brother arrives to try and convince them to sell to a developer.

Reichert does a terrific job of explaining aspects of the apple-growing business as she deftly develops a special friendship (complete with the wonder of catching fireflies) between a reluctant Sanna and young Bass.  Also, Sanna's strong affection for the Looms (heirloom trees) is apparent as are hints of romance between her and Isaac.  THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER is a charming and relaxing read, perfect for a lazy summer day.
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I haven't read The Coincidence of Coconut Cake yet but I did read Luck, Love & Lemon Pie and wasn't super into it. I had higher expectations for The Simplicity of Cider for some reason. I have to say I didn't love it. I liked the idea of a grumpy chick MC, Sanna, since it is usually the dude who is the grump. Here it didn't work at all for me. I am glad she did grow by the end but there was something not really endearing there.  Then the dude, Isaac,  that comes to work on the orchard with his son while on a road trip was fine except he is keeping a horrible secret from his son. Like super bad and I didn't dig that at all. My biggest issue is is it moved sort of slow. I finally just skimmed it all to the end. I mean it was ok after the skimming but that was it.
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5 REASONS TO PICK UP THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER

1. You love books with Magical Realism like those of Sarah Addison Allen, Ellen Herrick, Alice Hoffman and Moïra Fowley-Doyle.

2. You don’t mind slightly prickly main characters who develop as the story progresses. Sanna definitely takes a little getting used to she is very rough around the edges and standoffish at the beginning of the novel but we quickly see her character development and evolution as she gets to know Isaac and Sebastian.

3. You are a fan of books that include food or drink. This book is set in the most beautiful apple orchard. And is filled with mouthwatering scenes of apple desserts and cider brewing.

4. You love Wisconsin. I haven’t seen many books set in Wisconsin which I’ve visited only wants. After reading The Simplicity of Cider, I definitely want to go back and visit this region.

5. You’re looking for a sweet quick read that will leave you feeling warm, cozy, and in search of some good apple cider.
 

Final Thoughts – The Simplicity of Cider was an almost perfect read. I love stories that pull me in from the first page and just feel like a big hug. I wanted to live inside this book and it was bittersweet when it ended.
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'Simplicity of Cider' will satisfy thirst for light, romantic fiction
When the weather gets warmer and the opportunity to sit in a hammock under a tree becomes more alluring, the urge to indulge in a light, romantic novel hits me. Amy Reichert’s “The Simplicity of Cider” satisfies that urge completely.
Reichert’s characters are very well portrayed, and quite likable. In this one, they are all dealing with problems from the past which, for various reasons, they have chosen to ignore until that moment they can no longer avoid the confrontation.
The Lund family has owned and operated an apple orchard in Door County, Wis., for five generations. Sanna and her father are struggling to make ends meet, but they are hoping that her talent with creating craft cider will solve the problem. There is a bigger problem on the horizon, and they are pressured to sell the property to a large corporation that wants to tear down the farm and build a water park. Isaac and his teenage son, Bass, are on a road trip for his summer vacation. When they stumble upon Door County, Isaac accepts a part-time seasonal position helping with the apple orchard.
As in her other books, Reichert injects a touch of magic, this time with a special connection to the apples and the trees Sanna has inherited. She can visualize the taste of the apples and the cider as colors, making it easy for her to create unique and tantalizing ciders.
This is a heartwarming story, and the characters become friends you cheer on, laugh with and cry with. I chuckled as Sanna struggled to forge a working relationship with Bass and to avoid a romantic one with Isaac. Long-kept secrets emerge, keeping the pace of the plot moving along nicely.

For light fiction, with a touch of romance and a lot of family, it doesn’t get much better than Amy Reichert.

Sandy Mahaffey is former Books editor at The Free Lance–Star.
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Setting:  Idun's Orchard, Door County, Wisconsin

Characters:

Sanna Lund - fifth-generation orchardist. Daughter of Einars. Sister of Anders. 
Isaac Banks - single dad to Sebastian (Bass). California tech expert traveling with his son for the summer.
Plot:  Another summer is beginning in Door County, but Sanna Lund isn't looking forward to the influx of tourists. Though her struggling family business, Idun's Orchard, would certainly benefit from more visitors, Sanna would much rather spend her days in the barn, conceptualizing and creating cider. She has a gift; a connection to her land, the trees, and especially the cider she creates. When her father surprises her with two new helping hands - Isaac and his son, Bass - early in the season, she's less than pleased. But when an accident means Einars is rushed to the hospital, Sanna learns that she can't do it all on her own, no matter how hard she tries. And, somewhere along the way, she taps into the magic inside and outside of herself.

Pacing:  Smooth, steady, and enticing.

Predictability:  Low

Wild Card:  This story ticked all the boxes for me. Set in my home state, featuring strong, well-written, relatable characters, and just the smallest touch of magic realism. Not to mention an author who, like me, serves on her local library board! I've wanted to read Amy E. Reichert for a while, and other books on my list have, until now, come first. However, now that I've had the pleasure of reading her work, I need to catch up with her other stories and will be reserving a permanent top-of-the-to-be-read list spot for her future work.
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This story had an interesting premise and I was ready to love it but as I dug in both Sanna and Isaac appeared flat to me and it seemed she genuinely enjoyed the orchard more than people. Though I sometimes understand that it didn't make this story more interesting or appealing. It just felt as though Isaac had a giant uphill battle that didn't seem all that satisfying by the end.
It was a decent read but parts of dragged for me.
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This book was so sweet. I literally devoured it one rainy Saturday afternoon. The characters were on point and I loved Sanna!
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The Simplicity of Cider is 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.

For me, the highlight of the book was the setting of the orchard.

Which, admittedly, is quite surprising even to me, because I am not what you would call an outdoorsy nature lover; 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.

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.

Recommendation
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.
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Sanna was a complex woman to get close to. She valued the orchard more than human relationship because of what happened to her in the past. Issac has his job cut out for him. He did persevere and got Sanna's attention after so long. There are more about the beauty and scenery of the orchard though. Just an average read for me though.
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If you're a fan of author Sarah Addison Allen, you'll enjoy The Simplicity of Cider, a charming confection by novelist Amy E. Reichert.  Set among the apple orchards of Door County, Wisconsin, it's the story of cider-maker Sanna Lund, who is struggling to make a go of her business when a stranger and his young son come into her quiet life. Love stories infused with a hint of magic, like this one, are irresistible to many readers--including. Recommended for romantics and anyone who enjoys a heartwarming tale.
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Dollycas’s Thoughts

After read Luck, Love & Lemon Pie last year I knew this was an author I would keep me eye on. When I heard about this new book I couldn’t wait to read it.

Isaac Banks and his son Bass, short for Sebastian, are on a cross country adventure. Isaac is trying to protect his son from the realities at home. They soon find themselves in Wisconsin’s Door County. A beautiful place full of cherries, a restaurant where goats graze on the roof, Green Bay (not the town where the Packers play), lighthouses and apple orchards. Isaac and Bass soon find themselves at Idun’s, an apple orchard that has been owned by the Lund family for five generations. Sanna Lund and her father now run the place and Sanna has a special talent for making cider. Her father has mortgaged the farm to purchase all the equipment she needs to produce on a large scale. Her brother has nothing to do with the orchard anymore but thinks it needs to be sold to take care of the debt because they have received a huge offer.

Issac and Bass agree to help with the chores. It is like fate brought them to this place. Sanna really doesn’t like kids but after a couple of days that changes as Bass finds a way into her heart. She and Isaac also feel a connection neither of them understand. When someone’s actions threaten Sanna’s precious trees and the entire orchard things get complicated.

This is such a beautiful story and so well written. The author has a way of writing that pictures of people, time, and place just come alive with such detailed imagery. Maybe it is because I have traveled to Door County several times that I had a crystal clear picture of everything she described but I truly believe it was her words that took me right along with Sanna, Issac and Bass.

She gives us a story of family, love, loss, and a little touch of something that “just is” and can only be explained by the belief that love carries through the generations and appears in unexpected ways.

These are such special characters. Their hearts are heavy with secrets and vulnerability that ebbs and flows through the entire series, even after some trust has been earned. The relationships built are so unique.

The Simplicity of Cider flows at a nice and easy pace. It was a relaxing read. I usually read a book like this in one or two nights but I didn’t want the story to end. I took time to savor every page and word. This book will make my list of Best Reads for 2017. Paradise Rating.
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Sometimes you are just in the mood for a charming book, and The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert, is perfect for that. 

Sanna Lund grew up on her family's orchard.  Apples are in her blood.  She feels most alive out among the trees.   Her love of apples has grown into a love of cider.  She can see the colors and the flavors that need to go in her cider.  Her cider is excellent, if she can just get it in front of the customers.  

Sanna’s father has invested heavily in her cider business and as a result the orchard business is struggling.  Big real estate buyers are trying (and will stoop very low) to try and get her to sell.  

She could use some help on the farm, and is surprised when Isaac Banks and his son Sebastian show up.  Seemingly out of the blue.   It helps that Sanna finds Isaac very attractive, but she is not planning on getting into a relationship.  

The book is charming and a little predictable, but in a good way.  It’s a good guys vs bad guys with a bit of a love story thrown in.  You know how it’s going to end, but that’s okay, it’s such a lovely journey. 

I received an ARC copy of the book.
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