What happens when you take two womenone a perfectionist, workaholic mother and career woman; and the other an overwhelmed, burned-out wife and motherand place them and their teenaged children in an almost Amish setting for the summer? Both women accept this reality TV challenge for different reasons. Susan hopes it will be the start of a television career for her with her very own cooking show, and she convinces her friend and sister-in-law Julie to come along and help her out. Julie hopes to escape from the chaos and confusion that her life has become and slow down and enjoy her children more. Julie is so frustrated with trying to do everything that everyone wants and expects from her especially since she feels inadequate so much of the time. Susan always requires perfection not only from herself but everyone else as well. Their children are not thrilled to spend the summer without their friends, computers and cell phones but they all set off to try to enjoy the adventure. As you would guess, nothing is remotely like they expect and that is where it gets interesting
I was not sure what to expect from this novel but it was still very different from what I had imagined. I expected it to be a story about the Amish as well as these two modern women but it was not. I found that it did not matter as the story was very good just the way it was. The twists and turns of all the interaction between the family members as well as with the crew members of the television show were very well thought out and held my interest from the get-go. I have never liked reality TV and this book proved my point on that score. It did make for an interesting backdrop for the story to unfold. If you are expecting a typical Christian fiction love story you will be surprised, but I do not think you will be disappointed. This story has depth of character and imparts a lesson that is worth learning. I highly recommend it.
I received this complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers for this review. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.
A contemporary novel about contemporary families, this was not what I expected. I think I didn't read the cover information well. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as did the families involved in the summer adventure. The lessons learned about slowing down in order to use your gifts well were worth the price of admission and then some.
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.
I enjoyed this sweet story of a family living a simpler life as the focus of a reality television show - (not Amish all the way, but almost Amish!) The characters were great. I liked how they didn't overly complain about the somewhat primative conditions they were placed. Julie, the easy going sister-in-law, was my favorite. She never felt good enough, but soon discovered the special gifts she had. Good book and highly recommended!
The minute I read the back cover copy of this novel I loved it. A modern family enters a reality television show to become almost Amish.. Love that premise and the novel pretty much followed what I expected, in both story and quality.
I loved Julies heart. She is a woman every house wife in America can relate to. I immediately sympathized with her situation and hopeless driftlessness in it all. The only thing I wish was that the dynamic between her and her husband had been brought into the story in a stronger aspect.
I now own and have read all of the authors novels to date and let me say this: I love her stories. Each word effortless slides into the next and the next, stringing a story that takes no energy to read. I simply have to turn the pages and join the world of the characters. Setting, emotions, character portrayal and situations are all great.
I thought the middle sagged just a tiny bit. At times I was wondering what was going to happen, but thought the showing of the character growth (and sometimes not) was great through this entire part.
Character growth was genuine. So often in a novel, to find that tidy ending, events are rushed or feel fake. Nope. All good on that front here.
All in all, I really enjoyed the novel. And maybeI really dont want to become Amish like I thought. (wink)
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.