Monday, September 24, 2012

Almost Amish - Kathryn Cushman

Summary from GoodReads: Julie Charlton is at the breaking point. She's overwhelmed and burned out, and in today's unrelenting society, her kids are, too. When her sister-in-law Susan, a Martha Stewart-in-training, lands the chance to participate in a reality TV series promoting simple living, and needs another family to join her, it seems like the perfect opportunity.

The location is an idyllic farm outside an Amish community in Tennessee. Julie, with her two children, joins Susan and her teenage daughter for a summer adventure. Susan needs to succeed in order to become self-sufficient after an ugly divorce, Julie needs to slow down long enough to remember what her priorities are and regain a sense of purpose and meaning. It becomes clear from the start that "living simple" is no simple matter. 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. With each new challenge, their season of "going Amish" gets more and more complicated, as each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.
Julie is growing tired of her super busy life.  Between caring for her house and family and all the committee that she is involved in, life needs to be simpler.  So her sister-in-law, Susan, talks her into joining her and her daughter to live almost Amish for the summer for a new reality show for TV.  This may be just what she needs.  While they are living the simple life, there are weekly challenges that the families must accomplish like no electricity and cooking on a wood stove.  During these months, everyone learns more about themselves than they had anticpated.  Will everyone make it?  What will they all take away from this experience?

I found this book to be a fun read.  Although I read lots of Amish fiction books, this was a nice change from them.  It makes you think about what you have, what you could easily give up and what you could not live without.  Simplier is not always easier!

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