almost amish, but no cigar
"Almost Amish" by Kathryn Cushman is a novel (which actually has no Amish people in it) that entails two women, Julie and Susan, who are sister-in-laws, become the stars on a reality TV show. On this reality show, which contains very little reality, the two women and their children must live a lifestyle similar to the Amish for three months. Susan has plans of becoming a "Martha Stewart" of sorts with cookbooks and lifestyle books. Her career rides on this show. In actuality, Martha Stewart would probably consider Susan an anal nightmare. She is your classic stick in the mud (or stick somewhere). She railroads over everybody, and everything must be perfect at all times. Julie is me, you, your typical American mom. She is over scheduled, under appreciated, and stressed to the point of hating her life.
This is a pretty good book. The main characters bounce off of each other well and the side characters are great. One of my favorites is Kendra, the producer. Kendra could be easy to hate, but you don't. She is kinda fun to hate actually. The kids are real and this whole book is just pretty darn good. I think it would make a pretty good movie. I received this book for free from Bethany Publishers.
March 19, 2013
Almost Amish Review
This is the first book I have read by author Kathryn Cushman. Although I have read books on the Amish before, this one was different from any I had ever read before. The storyline follows two woman who are sister in laws and their teenage kids as they participate in a TV reality show.
I found it very interesting that the two women were as different as night and day. The author did a good job of drawing me and made it easy to relate my own life to these women. I had to stop and think, what is important in life? Am I always rushing around working and not taking time for my kids and husband?
The book also portrayed that a simple lifestyle doesnÃ¢ÂÂt necessarily mean an easier lifestyle. I liked how the teenagers did a good job at adapting to change. They even realized they didnÃ¢ÂÂt need their computers and cell phones to occupy themselves. Can you imagine if a lot more of us would realize there is a world outside of electronics?
I really liked that when the show was over the woman spent some time incorporating all the good things they learned into their lives when they returned home.
All in all this is a well-written novel focusing on slowing down and spending time with family.
Thank you Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy to review. My opinions are my own.
December 5, 2012
While I thought that I was going to be reading just "another Amish book," I was pleasantly surprised by what I found in Kathryn Cushman's story.
Two sisters-in-law could not be more different. One lives for perfection - in herself and in her family members - while the other seeks to break free from the "perfect life" she has found. But the chance to participate in a reality show that forces them to live like the Amish may be the final straw for both women as they begin to see the gifts that God has given them.
Susan seems to have it all - a wonderful husband, an A-student teenage daughter, and a career moving forward with a popular talk show. But after her husband leaves her, Susan determines to make the other areas of her life perfect and winds up signing up for a reality television show with her own talk show. Seeking to prove that she can live the "perfect life," Susan soon finds herself in over her head and in danger of losing the very things she has been striving after.
Susan's sister-in-law, Julie, is by all appearances the "perfect mom." She supports her husband's career, stays busy being involved with her children's school activities, and devotes her free time to church activities. But when she starts to find herself dreaming of leaving that life behind, Julie knows it's time for a change. So when her sister-in-law invites her to join her on a reality show that will test their ability to live like the Amish, Julie jumps at the chance to take her two kids away from their busy lives.
Can two busy, modern families leave technology behind and adapt to life the Amish-way? One summer will tell, but the experience will leave a lasting impression on two families desperately in need of a change.
This book was such a blessing to me as it pointed me over and over again to passages from Scripture that demonstrate the importance of finding our own gifts and using them for God's glory. I found myself evaluating my own gifts and looking for God's purpose in my own life.
*I received this book to review from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own. I did not receive compensation for my opinions.
October 9, 2012
How many times have you just wanted to stopÃ¢ÂÂ¦take a deep breath and just relax? We live in a world that is go go go all the time. School events, family obligations, work. The list can go on and on. Julie Charlton has had enough of the constant hustle and bustle of her life. Being pulled in several directions can do that to a person. Susan, her in command sister-in-law, presents her with the opportunity to escape for the summer. If you can call reality television an escape! Susan wants Julie and her children to be part of a show where they will live like the Amish for the summer. Julie is determined to give this a try and really wants to slow down for the summer. As their adventure begins they are faced with the Ã¢ÂÂrealityÃ¢ÂÂ that living like the Amish comes with hardships and may prove to be more than they can handleÃ¢ÂÂ¦..
We can all take a lesson from the AmishÃ¢ÂÂ¦slow down and enjoy what you do have. You do not need to be Amish to have simplicity. There comes a time when you just have to stop and smell the roses. I wonder how many of us could live without our modern conveniences. Would you consider reality television? It was fun to read about it, and I even watch a lot of it on TV, but my answer is absolutely NO! A camera following your every move for entertainment is not my idea of a vacation. I think we can all identify with the characters in the book, whether we stretch ourselves to thin like Julie or are a bit overbearing at times like Susan. Almost Amish is a well written touching story with very believable characters. I really enjoyed this different spin on Amish fiction and it is definitely worth your attention.
This book was provided to me from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for review purposes.
September 30, 2012