I have been a fan of Amish Fiction ever since I read the Annie’s People series by Beverly Lewis. So when I first saw this book as a pre-order in a fiction book catalog I put it on my wish list. Recently Bethany House sent out their monthly e-mail of available books to review, and Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman was one of the ones that were offered, I chose it and waited for it to arrive in my mailbox. It was worth the wait, because I was hooked from the first page to the last.
Julie Charlton is an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom; who, as my dad would say, has to many irons in the fire. She tries to keep her home, feed her family, and also be involved with her children’s schools and activities, PTA responsibilities, church activities, and helping in her husbands office. I’m tired just typing this out. She wants to slow down but doesn’t know how, she even said that she hates her life.
Susan Reynolds, Julie’s sister-in-law, is a single mom, who strives to be perfect in everything she does, and doesn’t seem to understand why others won’t do the same. Susan has cooking segments on a morning news and lifestyle program, and is offered to “star” in a reality tv program--Almost Amish, and asks Julie to join her. Together they learn to slow down, but not without conflicts. They also learn more about themselves and each other.
I have, at times, wondered what it would be like to live a simpler life, like the Amish. Could I live without the modern things that I am accustomed to having? I think I could, but it would take some getting used to. As I read the story, I saw some of myself in each of the characters, I saw my strengths and weaknesses, and learned from them. I learned that I need to listen better, and not to just look on at the outside of a person, but to truly try to see the person as God sees them.
I highly recommend this book, and hope that you will like it as much as I did, and that you will also learn something from Julie and Susan.
About the Book:
Proving the Simple Life Isn't So Simple After All
Overcommitted and overwhelmed, Julie Charlton is at the breaking point. She knows she should feel blessed as a mother and wife--but she just feels exhausted. And then, the miraculous happens. Her sister-in-law Susan, a Martha Stewart-in-training, lands the chance to participate in a reality TV series about trying to live like the Amish and needs another family to join her. It's just the break Julie needs.
But the summer adventure in simple living soon proves anything but simple. With the camera watching every move, Susan's drive for perfection feels a lot like what they left behind, while Julie suddenly finds herself needing to stand up for slowing down. Whether it's cooking, cleaning, or dressing differently, each new Amish challenge raises new complications... and soon each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.
Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Sanford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California. Visit her Web site at www.kathryncushman.com
An Excerpt:Almost Amish