May 29, 2009

Amish Love

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting?

Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece here about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends.

And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.


Becky said...

You're right...there has been a lot of interest about the Amish lately. I can't remember which Christian author's website I was reading a while back, but one of them touched on how the market for Amish fiction is immense.

I suppose a lot of people are intrigued by the Amish people's 'simpler' way of life. I enjoy reading about that myself, and appreciate that they uphold Biblical principles as a community...and believe that their communities 'work' so well (as a whole...I realize there are always exceptions with abuse and other things effecting even the Amish) because of that.

On the whole, their everyday way of life is effective. Their crop rotation practices have yielded some of the very best and richest loamy soil in our nation, (revered as "Amish Gold" or "Amish loam" among gardeners), their practice of saving seeds down through several generations of families have preserved numerous non-hybrid or non-GMO heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits that are becoming scarce in a market dominated by hybridized and genetically modified seed varieties, and I understand that their divorce rate is the lowest per capita of just about any people group in our country. Practically unheard of in our 'modern' world.

My opinion is that while some of of what they hold to is rather legalistic, overall, their communities function well, showing that God's ways are higher than mans...that His ideals were intended for our ultimate best. Mans ways have taken our country down a path that isn't particularly 'ideal'.

I think much of the intrigue of the Amish has to do with readers of such books living in our materialistic American society, wondering if they really could let it all go...the 'conveniences' of modern life, and live that way permanently.

Similarly, there was a wildly popular 'reality' type series that PBS did a few years ago where they took modern folks and put them back into 1850's conditions...making them live without any modern conveniences for a long period of time (I think it was over several months) as though they'd been transported back to that date. They had to farm and build structures with the tools available then, they had to cook and clean and store up provisions just like folks did back then, and live by the laws of that era ...with a staff of historians that made sure all was followed to a 't'. It was a HUGE hit for PBS, and they went on to do a Victorian England version and some others that we didn't ever get to watch. Anyway, I remember there being a bit of a hubbub about that, too (it was watercooler conversation for quite a while), and I think it was for many of the same reasons. Folks today realize how 'wimpy' we are in comparison to those whose lives involved very arduous physical tasks just to survive. The modern women on the PBS show developed ripped arms and strong backs from doing laundry by hand, from kneading bread, and numerous other tasks that had to be done day in and day out...and frankly, unless you do manual labor, you have to join gyms to achieve that sort of physical fitness today.

Anyway, that's my two cents (or couple bucks, lol).

Tanya said...

I remember that show where they had people live in the 1850s. I've been trying to remember the name of it and its just not working. I do remember that it happened around 9/11, because that was the only bit of news they shared with the families.

I agree that people today are too materialistic and wimpy. I've always wanted to see if I could survive without all the things we're used to in our modern world.