Friday, August 31, 2012

Giveaway/ Review - Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman

About the Book

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,, 

Almost Amish

About Kathryn

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  

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.

My Thoughts

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.

If you found this review helpful vote yes or no here.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!

1+. All you need to do is leave a comment
 and be sure to leave your email address 
in the comment so I can contact you if you win.

Example of your email for your protection:  johndoe(at)gmail(dot)com

The winner will be announced on SEPTEMBER 3RD.



  1. I enjoyed the interview, Almost Amish sounds like a great read. I love the reality show setting and not finding quite the simple life. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  2. I love Beverly Lewis' books. I would love to try to get a free copy of this book.

  3. Hi Patricia! Wow, I've never read an Amish fiction before but the story here is really captivating. I definitely would want to know more about Julie. I can imagine that life is really never simple - even in an Amish community. Before, I thought that it was simple for them but I tried and thought of it more, and from my point of view, a WAHM, I would think that everything is hard to do in there. But of course, that's just me. Oooh. I would love to know more about this story, indeed.

    Great Q&A and review, Patricia ;)


  4. I love Amish novels. Your rating leaves me wanting to read this one.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. I would LOVE to win this book, Amish stories are my favorite ones to read. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    P.S. I forgot to leave my email on the previous comment, SORRY!


  7. I enjoy novels with a message and this certainly looks like that.

    Please consider me in the giveaway.

    Mike Draper

  8. Sounds wonderful. I enjoyed the interview, would love to read the book now!
    joyfilledheart26 at gmail dot com

  9. We have a winner!

    Congratulations Ara at My Book and My Coffee!

    I want to thank everyone that entered the giveaway!
    I will be having another giveaway soon, so please come back!

    Blessings to All,