Monday, August 13, 2012
Bethany House Presents: Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman
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.
Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of four previous novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California. Visit her Web site at www.kathryncushman.com.
I loved reading this book...we live in such a fast pace rat race. We seem to forget what is important, and this book helps bring things into reality. We begin with Julie Charlton who doesn't seem to know the name "NO". She is always running from one thing to another, and sometimes has to be two places at once. When her husband Thomas's sister begs her to help her...of course Julie does what she always does "Yes"! Susan Reynolds is in a fight to support herself and her daughter Angie, and the producers offer her an opportunity to advance, she has to do it! They want to do a reality show featuring the "Lisa Lee" show, and have Susan and Julie and their children going to Tennessee to live Amish style lives. When they arrived they have all of 60 seconds to get their belongings out of the Limo...as quick as they can Julia, her daughter Whitney, and son Brian grab their stuff. They begin their long journey down the drive, and finally arrive at a picturesque house....more on the outside than inside. They are met by Susan and her daughter Angie. Thus begins their new adventure! Julie wants desperately to find her God Gifts...even though she has always had them. You will watch them struggle and and in some ways envy them! They need to learn how to use a wood stove, and regulate it to cook with. Learn to wash clothes with a ringer washer...a real step back in time. I loved the ways the kids adjusted from their hectic lives back in CA to enjoy the simpler things. Checker tournaments! Do not miss this really heartwarming read. At times you won't like Susan, but travel along with them for a better look! I received this book from Bethany House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.