Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review :: Almost Amish By Kathryn Cushman

I love both contemporary and Amish fiction, so when I saw the opportunity to review a book that had the best of both worlds-both a bit of contemporary and a bit of Amish fiction all in one novel-I was super excited. I'd heard about this book, and seen the cover right as it was released, and had wanted to read it so I was very pleased at the chance to review it. 

Almost Amish
About The Book ::

Publisher :: Bethany House
Publication Date :: 2012
Number of Pages :: 320
ISBN :: 0764208268
My Rating :: 5 out of 5 stars

Description :: {Taken from ChristanBook.com}

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.

The Review ::
I was very excited to be able to read this book as I'd been wanting to for a while. Although it's the first book I've read by Kathryn Cushman, it probably won't be the last! When I got this book in the mail from Bethany House to review, I could tell by the first chapter that I'd love it...and I did! I loved how inspirational it was and how it makes you think, while at the same time providing an entertaining read with a mix of both contemporary and Amish fiction.

Pros :: This book was very inspirational, there were lots of little "life lessons" I found through the book and it really makes you stop and think. Kathryn did a lovely job writing this book, it was very well written and easy to read and descriptive. One thing that really sold me was how there is a mix of both contemporary and Amish fiction. Since I love both, to get two in one is definitely something I get excited about. I loved seeing how the characters grew throughout the story and how they had changed at the end of the book, for good. I loved the message that was portrayed through the story of the beauty of simplicity and there was a true respect for the Amish in the book. This book really made me stop and think about how I spend my time, and what things are most important in life and what things aren't-and being able to see the distinction between the two. I felt like I really knew the characters, since Kathryn did a good job of helping you get to know them well. 

I loved seeing how the characters switched worlds from the average American to a typical Amish family and think it made a wonderful story-line. The things they went through with switching to being "Almost Amish" such as the lack of air-conditioning, electricity, cell phones, their normal clothes, etc. was a interesting thing to see. Though at first they literally think they won't survive, at the end of the story they find that not only did they survive, but they learned a lot, and realized those things weren't all that bad.

Cons :: Really the only con I found was that the teens in this story seemed to be a bit haughty and disrespectful to their mothers, Julie and Susan. At times they made disrespectful statements such as " Will you old people hurry up?" and I felt like they overall weren't as respectful to their elders as they could have been. I really saw the typical worldy teen attitude in the young characters, and at one point in the story Angie blatantly disobeys her mother behind her back. Besides this though, there wasn't anything else I found as a con.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was very inspirational, had a wonderful moral and an interesting set of characters and story-line. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it! I give it 5 stars!

Have a blessed Monday!

Note: I received a copy of Almost Amish, free of charge, from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reading and reviewing this book. I was not required to give an honest review, if I didn't like it, and all thoughts are my own and 100 percent honest. I was not paid to do this review, and the fact that I got a free book for this review did not affect my thoughts of the book or my given review.

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