Annie is Old Order Mennonite, not Old Order Amish, but that does not keep her from having a crush on Aden, who is Old Order Amish, and whose family is co-partners with her grandfather in a small diner. To Englischer's their beliefs may not look that different, but they are. Annie uses electricity, believes in a more strict courting, and loves her grandfather's farm, especially the cherry trees. Annie is able to avoid Aden and her feelings toward him, until she gets into an argument with her mother, because her mother is not strict enough with her brothers. Annie is banished to her grandfather's and Apple Ridge and begins helping out at the diner, when Aden's brother, Roman, who is paralyzed is sent to help their uncle with a mechanical problem. Roman depends completely on Aden and he hates it. He was always the one to help Aden with his stuttering and he was always the one to court girls. When an old friend tries to get Roman to court her, Roman shuts her out. Roman also notices the budding romance between Aden and Annie and he and Annie's grandfather will do everything in their power to keep the couple apart. They know it will lead to censor on the part of the one who leaves behind the faith. Is this just a doomed crush or is it love? Can one embrace a different faith to be with the other?
This was a more complex book due to the fact that the couple had different religious beliefs. There may not seem to be a big difference in Mennonite and Amish, but there is. For awhile I thought that it would be wrong for either one to break his or her vow, but coming from a marriage where my husband is Protestant and I am Catholic, I know such things can work. We did not have to deny our churches to be married, but we do have to respect each other's choices and we do go to separate churches on the weekends. For Annie and Aden this would not even work, because it would be required for one to switch. This was a hard one to decide if it ended the way it should, but I think Cindy was respectful of both faiths in the book. A little more dramatic than the other four in the series, but a good read. 3.5 cups of cocoa.