Thursday, September 06, 2012

{Book Review} Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman

Ever feel that you're a jill of all trades and a master of none?  That's how the main character, Julie, in Almost Amish feels.  She is overwhelmed by all of the daily activities that she's got jam packed into her day and is worn out by the prospect of the cycle of madness.  She doesn't feel that she does any of them well at all.  So when her sister-in-law begs her to go on a Reality TV show where they go almost Amish, she doesn't hesitate for long to make the decision to go.  She longs for a simpler life like the one that Amish live.

Along the way, she finds out that a "simpler life" doesn't necessarily mean one without technology (or even electricity).  Rehabbing an old farmhouse means lots of work cleaning, hot hours spent over an antique stove, and no air conditioning in the middle of a hot southern summer.  Still, Julie perserveres, despite some hurt feelings along the way caused by her Type A sister-in-law who knows that she has to shine on the Reality Show to be able to launch her own career.

The producer doesn't make going almost Amish easy on them either.  It seemed that every chapter had a new challenge, one that tested the characters.  As the book went on, you could see the worn out Julie become a stronger person, one finally in charge of her life and not having life be in charge of her every minute of every day.

Susan, her sister-in-law, is a Type A perfectionist.  The two clash and their disagreements offered food for thought.  As parents, we want the best for our children.  In that aspect, we are Susan.  We want them to have the best opportunities for education.  But, we also realize that over scheduling and too much pressure on them to perform is a negative environment.  To that extent, we're Julie, looking for a simpler, less hectic and balanced life for our families.  Almost Amish was enjoyable, mainly because I could see myself in both characters.  I struggled their struggles.  It's always nice to be able to easily imagine yourself as a character in a book, feeling their joy and their pain, and emotionally connecting to the story.

Overall, I recommend this book!  I read the bulk of this book while I was on vacation --- a page turner that kept me guessing what the production assistant of the reality TV show would cook up next for the Julie, Susan, and their children.

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this title from Bethany House, a Division of Baker Publishing Group.  Though the book was free to me for review purposes, the opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review, though I did enjoy this title.  If you're interested in purchasing this book, it is available at
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