This is a wonderful book that tells of a woman's dream to stay with an Amish family and learn of their ways, and while doing so, cast revelations into her own feelings and ways of living in life afterwards. I learned a lot of interesting information about the Amish culture while reading this great, true story. It's a must to read, especially if you have ever had an interest in the Amish people and their way of life.
I really enjoyed this book! It is a quick read. It is about a woman trying to find the way to a peaceful life. She is the opposite of what an Amish woman strives to be and struggles at first to apply what she learned during her stay with the Amish family. She stays with a second family, had a very different experience there, and felt that she found what she was looking for.
It was so interesting to read about the day to day routines of an Amish family. This book has sparked a desire, in me,to read more about the Amish. I definately recommend this book.
I was unable to put this book down. It spoke volumes about how fragmented, frustrating, and harried my life had become. It gave me a new appreciation for simplicity, connectedness, and taking time for the important things in life.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book on cassette. Her descriptions of the various Amish people she encounters are wonderful. She describes their lives and her reactions vividly. Unfortunately, she then goes into a long personal reflection I found incredibly boring and just wished the tape would end. That was toward the finish, so I can still recommend this to anyone curious about Amish people.
Educational on the ways of the Amish, how they came to be and why they live the way they do. Though I personally wouldn't want to be Amish, I would like to incorporate some of their way of thinking into my everyday life as the writer had. Overall very good book.
This is a really great book. Very inspirational and a wonderful addition to your simple living library. Pass it along to a friend to enjoy. I plan to read her other books as well. A really interesting look into the lives of the amish juxtaposed with our modern, high tech, high stress society. Really makes you think about things you can change in your life to be more present, slow down and to live more simply.
The New York Times Book Review
"An account of a quest that leaves [Bender] content and, magically, has the same effect on the reader. . . In prose that seems to echo the rhythm of Amish life, the author kicks around some old questions--What really matters? Is there another way to lead a good life?--with surprising freshness. . .Listening to her gentle voice consider the questions is charming and, somehow, invigorating."
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very fast read. Once I started, I had to finish it right away. Growing up around the Amish but never really learning a lot about them, I found that this gave a little more information about their lives.
An honest, unromanticized account of how one woman's fascination with the amish (despite having habits/values that are in direct conflict with the anmish) drives her to go live with them, thus, changing her life.
Jennifer K. reviewed Plain and Simple : A Journey to the Amish (Ohio) on
The story of an artist who lived with Amish families in Iowa and Ohio, and her impression of why she needed to simplify her life. Interesting details about the Amish are included, and the author describes how there can be great freedom in limitations. Finally, the author's view of art changes after learning that Amish women all create art, but none call themselves artists.
This book takes you along on the author's journey of discovery. She explores what feels right to her and struggles with how to incorporate that "feeling of rightness" into her everyday life.
An easy read that gives you something to think about - what is it you are searching for?
I'd recommend this one.
tani reviewed Plain and Simple : A Journey to the Amish (Ohio) on
On the jacket:
"I, who worked hard at being special, fell in love with a people who values being ordinary."...the captivating and true story of a harried urban Californian moved by the beauty of a display of quilts to seek out and live with the Amish...Bender is gently coaxed to consider, "Is there another way to lead a good life?"
Heeding a persistent inner voice, Bender searches for Amish families willing to allow her to visit and share in their daily lives...[She] enters a world without television, telephone, electric light , or refrigerators; a world where clutter and hurry are replaced with inner quiet adn calm ritual...a world where "no distinction was made between the sacred and the everyday."
In addition to black and white sketches of Amish quilts and a few other items in Amish life, there are some charming sketches of homemade Amish rag dolls, none of which have features on their faces, due to the Amish interpretation of one of the ten commandments. This is a very refreshing book.
The true story of this author who was so moved by the beauty of a display of Amish quilts as a backdrop in a men's store, she made plans to seek out and live with the Amish. This wife, mother, therapist who is a harried Califorian has much in store for her.There she discovers another life without clutter or hurry. Life with calm. Something she knows little about. The story was sweet, refreshing, and quite interesting. The author certainty gained the information she set out to aquire and then some. Her host families were the perfect match for her. Although this book is somewhat dated, this book itself is like new, both the book and all the info, as it's always nice to be reminded how different ways of life offers us many beautiful choices as we go about our daily lives. Not knowing which I found more intersting, be it the quilt patterns, a life without electricity, or the harried therepist living in California, this story came together at the end not as I expected, but better. Yup...I think it did...the author was honest and that made it lots better. I really enjoyed this book.
This book was good but would have been a lot better if the author hadn't written so much about her own inner struggles. It did put forth, at the very end of the book, 9 ideas, principles ("patches") as she calls them to living like the Amish and/or living simply to achieve contentment in life.
Some parts where the author describes the Amish approach to housework (giving it value, doing your best at it as it being a worthy thing to do instead of regarding it as a drudgery) reminded me of "Keeping House" by Margaret Kim Peterson (even though her book is not written from an Amish perspective).
A worthwhile read if you respect or aspire to these ideals. Maybe even worth reading if you don't so that you might at least understand another approach to life contrary to our hurry, hurry, rush, rush, achievement/goal-oriented materialistic lives.
Beautiful Gift copy! This is a remarkable story of a woman from Berkeley, California who is sick of the rat race.So she enquired of an Amish community could she come and stay with them, an Amish family. A family with 2 educated sister Amish midwives Invited her to come and stay in their home.One sister was married with children and the other single. The author has more fun than she can ever imagine.The Amish are good, solid, decent, Christian folk who welcome an "Englisher" like the author.
I love this book, but I have already read it and I am passing on this extra copy.
A graceful story of a search for meaning, simplicity and order. "A graceful tribute to a community of people who value the ordinary as an end in itself. The author allows us to sojourn vicariously miles away from the frenzy of contemporary urban life."-Publisher's Weekly
"In her graceful tribute to a community of people who value the ordinary as an end in itself,
bender allows us to sojourn vicariously miles away from the frenzy of contemporary urban life." Publishers Weekly