Proving the Simple Life Isn't So Simple After All
Over committed and overwhelmed, Julie Charlton is at the breaking point. She knows she should feel blessed as a mother and wife--but she just feels exhausted. And then, the miraculous happens. Her sister-in-law Susan, a Martha Stewart-in-training, lands the chance to participate in a reality TV series about trying to live like the Amish and needs another family to join her. It's just the break Julie needs.
But the summer adventure in simple living soon proves anything but simple. 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. Whether it's cooking, cleaning, or dressing differently, each new Amish challenge raises new complications... and soon each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.
Where to buy: Amazon,Christianbook.com,BarnesandNoble.com
Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California.
Visit her Web site atwww.kathryncushman.com
Q&A with Kathryn Cushman
1. Tell us about your new book, Almost Amish.
Almost Amish is the story of Julie Charlton, an overwhelmed wife and mother who is exhausted
and burned out. When her high-achieving sister-in-law lands a spot on a reality TV show about
simple living called “Going Almost Amish,” she invites Julie and kids to join her. Julie hopes this
is her chance to slow down long enough to reconnect with her kids and to remember her reason
for doing what she does.
2. What was the inspiration for this story?
I think most women today are completely overwhelmed by the demands on their time and
energy. We keep getting all these great “time saving” appliances, yet I think most women agree
that their lives are far more hurried and stressed than their mothers’ lives were. The questions
of “what happened to all that time we saved?” and “are we really doing this to ourselves?” gave
me the idea for the book. My friend Kristyn was the human inspiration—she is a stay-at-home
mother who runs herself ragged helping other people and getting very little credit for it.
3. What is the theme at the core of this book?
Discovering what God has called us to do and doing it with all our hearts. That can also mean
NOT doing something, even if that something is a very good thing, if it is outside of what we are
called to do. Even if other people are very adamant that we should be doing that something.
4. Do you envy the Amish way of life?
I grew up near an Amish community (the one depicted in this book), so I saw that life in all its
hardships. I never could understand why women would be drawn to Amish fiction until I read
one of Beverly Lewis’ books. Then I thought, “Wow, that does sound nice.” In reality, I think the
Amish lifestyle is very difficult. I’m thankful for the freedom and comforts I have as a modern
5. Did you do any special research for this book?
I did lots of reading and talking to the people who are close to the Amish in Tennessee. For
personal research, I did a “Shoo-fly Pie” experiment so that one scene in the book would be
accurate. A friend of mine who actually knows what Amish shoo-fly pie is supposed to taste like
was my taste-tester. Pie-tasting night was interesting, to say the least.
I also have a friend of a friend who works in reality TV (she has worked on shows like “Big
Brother”). She taught me so much and helped me work through some of the technical details.
6. Why do you think life is so stressful for modern women?
Truly, I think a large part of that answer falls squarely on our own shoulders. We spend way too
much time looking at everyone else and trying to keep up with them, instead of putting our
heads down and doing what it is that we do best. Not everyone is a gourmet cook, not everyone
is a terrific businesswoman, not everyone is fabulous and patient with a group of preschoolers.
We need to celebrate what we do well, we need to celebrate what other people do well, and we
need to cut ourselves and each other slack for not doing everything well.
Have you heard the old saying, "I meet myself coming and going"? Well this is the life of Julie Charlton dedicated and exhausted wife and mother. She realizes her family needs to slow down but just can't seem to figure out how.
Until...! Her sister-in-law Susan is offered a Reality T.V. series called Almost Amish and she wants Julie and her two kids to be part of the reality show with her and her daughter. This seems like the answer to all Julie's problems and for opportunity for her family to slow down and enjoy the simple life of the Amish.
Boy was she ever wrong! From the minute they arrived Susan was so hyped up about making everything perfect in their new reality show home away from home. They all ended up spending most their days cleaning and working on one project after another. Susan had even made up a chore chart.
Things were not as Julie and the kids had hoped. The producer of the the reality show was determined to make things as difficult for them as possible. Making things even worse the woman had broken just about every promise she had made to them and the Amish community.
What had happened to slowing down and enjoying the simple life of the Amish. Julie and all three of the kids were determined to slow things down. They had a game plan! Which does not set well with her workaholic sister-in-law and the crazy reality show producer.
The author wrote a great story about how life is not simple even in an Amish Community. We have to work and pray for what we have. God will provide. I loved Julie and totally sympathized with her. Susan seemed to be a little to wrapped up in herself and so did the producer. the author also emphasizes how God has a plan for everyone and that it does not always work out the way we had envisioned it.
I recommend this book.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
Disclosure I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
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ALMOST AMISH for this GIVEAWAY.
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The winner will be announced on SEPTEMBER 3RD.