I’ve had Amy Reichert’s The Simplicity of Cider on my to-read shelf for a long time. Some friends of mine and I pass around books every time we meet for dinner, and last summer my friend handed me this, saying, “It’s cute and it’s about cider.” I took it, my sister read it on our vacation, but somehow I never got to it. Finally, because I’m trying to (god forbid!) cull my bookshelves a bit and I wanted something light and fun, I decided to pick this up.
This book is exactly what you’d expect from a writer whose earlier work has titles like The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie—something that is sweet (but not cloying) and that goes down easily. Plus, it’s interesting to read a book that’s set in a place I know—Door County, Wisconsin.
Sanna Lund is the fourth generation Lund to make her living on the family apple orchard and she has a gift for making cider (if not for selling it.) However, since her brother, Anders, moved away with his family, it’s just her and her father, Einars, trying to keep everything going and their decision to buy a lot of cider-making equipment has put the family deep in debt.
Isaac Banks has taken his young son, Bass (short for Sebastian), on a summer road trip across the United States—mainly to escape the fact that his ex-wife (Bass’s mom) overdosed and Isaac doesn’t have the heart to tell his son that his mother choose drugs over him. He wants to give his son one last “childhood” summer before he breaks the news to Bass that his mother is dead. Chance and a glossy brochure lead them to Door County and to summer employment working the orchard with Sanna and Einars.
As you might expect, there are sparks between Isaac and Sanna but neither feel like it’s the right time for romance. However, Einars, Bass and a local, Mrs. Dibble, have other ideas. Throw in a conniving neighbor, a young business woman trying to develop a water park, and some family secrets and you have a solid summer read that even with a bit of conflict, you know will end well. Plus, there’s cider!