Monday, July 16, 2012

Almost Amish

My review is at the end. Enjoy!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Almost Amish
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Kathryn Cushman


Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but all her life she knew that she wanted to write a novel “some day”. For her, “some day” came in 2003, when she started writing and never looked back.

Her first two manuscripts remain firmly ensconced in the back of her closet (the dust bunnies tell her they really are terrific!). Her third attempt became her first published novel.

A Promise to Remember and Leaving Yesterday were both finalists for the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

On the homefront, she has been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for nearly twenty-five years now, and their two daughters are currently braving the worlds of high school and college.

They’ve lived in Santa Barbara for over twenty years. It’s a beautiful place and Kathryn feel blessed to be there (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves her dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!)

When she's not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find her trying her best to keep up with her daughters in their various theater, softball, dance, and filled-with-activity lives.


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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Almost Amish, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

The recent plethora of Amish fiction has been, to say the least, not my favorite thing going for Christian fiction today. I'm sure if you wanted to search, you would find a few Amish books among my book reviews, as in the past I've enjoyed them. However, during my most recent foray to the Inspirational Fiction section of the Anchorage Barnes and Noble, it seemed to me that about every other cover had a kapped heroine and either "Amish" or "Plain" in the title somewhere. Frankly, it's a bit much for me now.

So why am I reviewing this book? Simple. It's not Amish fiction. It's about a fictional "reality" show, about stressed-out moms and overbooked teens. It's about two women, both of whom desire to make a difference in the world--one through her work, one by simplicity in life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found myself relating to aspects of both Susan and Julie. I'm learning how I can use my gifts to make a difference in the world, to say "no" to good things in order to make room for the better things God would have me do, and to enjoy my children whenever I can.

I do think fans of Amish fiction will enjoy this novel too, as it references many aspects of several Amish cultures, and the "reality" show does try to be authentic in its challenges. However, if you're like me and feel like you're tired of it and want something different, this is for you as well.

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