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Monday, February 28, 2011

Plain Wisdom

I live in a highly populated Amish area.  Within a mile of our home, there are no less than five Amish farms.  Our yard backs to a field, and when their cows "got out" (meaning that they were no longer behind the proper fence...or the other fence), I had the opportunity to meet my closest Amish neighbor for the first time.  Below is the photo taken one Sunday morning when the heifers came to visit for the second time.  They liked our "watering trough," I think.  You can see their farm's silos in the background.

My friendship with my neighbor has developed since the spring of 2009.  We visit every once in a while; typically when I go to her home.  We don't see each other every month, but we do enjoy our visits when we are able to chat.

Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women
Our friendship led me to review the book Plain Wisdom by the popular author Cindy Woodsmall and an Old-Order Amish woman, Miriam Flaud.  Like my friend and me, these two women, one Amish and English, have developed a real friendship despite extreme cultural differences.  They began their relationship as pen pals, and now Cindy actually travels each summer to spend a week with Miriam and her family!  Cindy and Miriam have much in common as women, wives, and mothers.
"With poignant recollections, unexpected insights, and humorous tales, the two women welcome you into their unique friendship"  ~ From the back cover
The book, Plain Wisdom is just what that summary says- it is a collection of stories from the two authors.  Though a bit of the story of their friendship is shared, most of the short chapters (3 or so pages) are made of a story from each woman's life based upon the same topic.  Some of the topics are "The Waiting Game," "Work Ethic," and "Light in the Dark."  I was particularly amused by the Amish Friendship Bread chapter.  (I believe any recipe labeled with the word Amish probably isn't Amish.)  Lots of recipes are included, too.

Each chapter begins with a Bible verse.  Faith (with focus on God and Jesus) is sprinkled throughout the book, though I think life is really the main focus.  Both authors are encouraged by their faith and celebrate it in everyday life.

If you enjoy Chicken Soup for the Soup-type books, or if you have a desire to to know more about a real Amish family and Cindy Woodsmall, this would be a good book for you.  Personally, I was hoping to read more about the workings of the friendship between Cindy and Miriam and especially, their common faith.  (Our faiths are similar, but there are certainly some differences, though I am still learning.)

Edited: I did share this book with my Amish friend, and she also enjoyed it, though she is more conservative than Miriam.

Thank you, Waterbrook Press, for providing this ARC for review purposes.

3 comments:

Miller Moments said...

I think the Amish are so fascinating. I'm actually reading a book about them now (but of course I can't remember the title!)

Shonda said...

I used to live in Amish country when I was younger. I now read lots of Amish books, but this one sounds pretty good. Thanks for the review.

Carrie said...

What an interesting idea for a story. I would be curious (esp. to find out how they worked their friendship out.) That is very curious to me.

I don't normally think to say this but -- "Beautiful cows!" ;D They are so picturesque!

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