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Why Amish Fiction?

20 Oct

theshunningIf you’ve been anywhere near a bookstore in recent years, you’ve seen the popularity of Amish fiction. The genre, started by Beverly Lewis back in the late 1990s, took fire with readers across the nation and across the world. It’s left a lot of people scratching their heads and asking, “Why?”

In my Bible reading this morning, I came across Jeremiah 6:16 (New Living Translation):

This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
    Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
    But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’

Apparently some do want that road. At least, in their fiction reading.

I live in an Amish community, so many of my friends and neighbors are Amish. I admire much about them, particularly their attitudes toward and commitment to their families. As the family in our non-Amish culture continues to break down and fall apart, I wonder if this isn’t what draws readers to Amish fiction.

It’s like going back in time. It’s like walking that old, godly way. It’s like finding a path and having a wee bit of rest for your soul.

That’s not a bad reason to read.

~ Pegg Thomas – who laughing tells people how easy it is to find her house because, “It’s the first farm with a truck.”

 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Pegg Thomas

 

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11 responses to “Why Amish Fiction?

  1. rpatchen

    October 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I admit it–I’ve never read a single Amish fiction book. I should figure out what all the fuss is about. A great point here, Pegg.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Pegg Thomas

      October 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Amish fiction isn’t for everyone. The same way not everyone enjoys mysteries, or fantasy, or thrillers, or any other genre. But it’s fun to look at why people enjoy what they do.

      Liked by 2 people

       
  2. Nadine C. Keels

    October 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I don’t read a lot of Amish fiction, but I think I understand the attraction. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Pegg Thomas

      October 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      I don’t read much of it myself, Nadine. Probably because I live so close to the Amish and the errors glare at me off the page. But that said, each church has their own codes to live by. The church district I live in doesn’t allow bicycles, but they allow scooters. (Bicycles without seats or pedals.) And almost no Amish ride horses here, where in other districts you see children riding ponies to school every day. So you can expect a lot of differences when reading Amish fiction.

      Liked by 4 people

       
  3. thesilverofhisfining

    October 21, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Great post, Pegg! I have been to Lancaster County, PA and Shipshewanna, IN and someplace in Ohio and Iowa, to ‘gawk’ at the Amish in fascination. I have also read a few books, very little of which I enjoyed.

    Most recently I read Cindy Woodsmall’s When the Heart Cries. I didn’t enjoy reading it. It is the first in a series, which I assume means it brightens up somewhat in books 2 and 3, but perhaps not. The story is rather dark and hopeless, as far as the Amish go.

    I also recently read Kaylene Yoder’s testimony, as to being raised Amish and leaving. It gave great insight into the Amish, and sounded very similar to Cindy’s book.

    I am fascinated with their simple way of life, and I had previously assumed that I would be equally fascinated with their faith, which I now have doubts about. Neither theirs nor our lifestyle is sufficient to lead us into a personal relationship with Christ.

    I think I would be more interested in knowing Amish people personally than reading fiction about them, but I’m sure going to read those other two books in the series to find out what happens! Good fiction is good fiction, no matter who the subject is.

    Thanks for opening up this discussion. Great idea!

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Pegg Thomas

      October 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

      People assume that all Amish are Christians. But sitting in church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in your garage will make you an automobile. There are plenty of Amish who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I know some of them! There are also Amish who believe that they will be saved only by their own good works. But then … we could say the same of every church. The Amish are people first, with all the issues people everywhere have.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • thesilverofhisfining

        October 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

        Exactly. You said it much better than I. May I quote you in my book review?

        Raises the question of how it would be if Christians were more defined in their dress and customs?

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • thesilverofhisfining

        November 1, 2014 at 11:01 pm

        Pegg, my review will be posted on Monday, Nov. 3rd, quoting this comment of yours, and linking to this post. Thanks so much!

        Like

         
  4. Azure James

    October 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I work on a farm right by the Amish. They sure are different when you’re working with them personally! Everyone think’s they’re extremely reclusive… not really. Lol

    Like

     
    • Pegg Thomas

      October 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Once you get to know them, they are like people everywhere. Some are quiet and some aren’t. It takes time to earn their trust. They are hesitant to mix with non-Amish for a very good reason. They have known their share of persecution.

      Liked by 2 people

       

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