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Horseshoe Bend, AR
5 Stars Out Of 5
September 26, 2016
Horseshoe Bend, AR
At first I wasn't sure what I'd think about ALMOST AMISH. Reality TV shows, English living as Amish (dressed in pioneer closets?) and women's fiction.... Not a genre I'm a huge fan of, though I do read some. But this book - ALMOST AMISH grabbed me from the first page. I totally got Julie. Not perfect. Real. Gifted with organizing, but not cleaning. Gifted with seeing people, but not baking for school functions. And running ragged with all her and her children's and her husband's activities... Crazy. She needed a breather, and when her sister-in-law, Susan accepted a reality TV show position (for a needed boost with her career) she jumped at the chance to get away.
But the situation is far from perfect. They take out the propane stove and put in a wood stove -- which neither woman had even seen one before, much less baked/cooked with one. The producers "greeked' labels, meaning they didn't know what ingredients were what in some cases, and well, there were NO privacy. Julie found herself going to bat over and over for her children and Susan because Susan wouldn't stand up for herself (afraid to risk her career plans) and the producers were running alll over them. . .
Add a "handyman", a potential romance and lots of heart and realism and you have ALMOST AMISH.
This was a beautifully written story that I totally LOVED. I have made decisions to slow our family life down as I grew older -- getting rid of TV, baking most meals from scratch, not eating out, and spending time together as a family. We have a reputation of being "The Waltons" around here - actually eating at the table as a family. . . etc. I am not good at gardening, (Julie was) and not good at sewing (Julie was) but otherwise I totally related to her. GREAT story. I haven't read much (if anything else) by this author, but I will look up more, based on this book.
This was not really what I thought it would be, having read the back cover, but it was still very interesting and thought provoking. Susan was the star of the reality TV show, but Julie was the main character of the book, the one who truly embraced the concept of a simple life, and the one whose lessons most effected me. I was disappointed by all the compromises made under cover of the "Almost" in the title. It would have been more challenging for them to go totally Amish, including the humility and peacefulness of that culture. I did enjoy seeing Julie realize that being an enabler for others is a ministry in itself, and a valuable one. It was great to see the changes in the children and family dynamics brought about by a lack of 'technological noise.' I really appreciated the wisdom of Rosemary and the gentle way she shared it.