AlmostAmish_4color.inddReviewed by Meg Massey

Julie Charlton is an overwhelmed mother and wife. Carpools, committees, helping with school functions, Julie and her children need a break from the speed of modern life. So when her sister-in-law Susan presents her with an opportunity to participate in a reality series about trying to live like the Amish, Julie jumps at the chance to get away from the stresses of the every day.

But when they arrive at the farm house in Tennessee, Julie and her two children find that Amish life is anything but slow. In order to impress the producers of the show, Susan insists that they strive for perfection, whether its cleaning the house until it is spotless, or baking the perfect apple pie. Julie starts to feel like they returned to the fast-paced, perfection-driven world she escaped from, and feels the need to demand the slower pace they all came to Tennessee to experience.

Will Susan remember to slow down and enjoy the Amish lifestyle, or will she continue to be driven by her quest for perfection? And will Julie find all that she was looking for, for herself and her children?

Kathryn Cushman’s Almost Amish is one of the most interesting Amish fiction books I’ve read in a while. Very different from typical Amish fiction, this novel looks at the busyness of modern life, while acknowledging that a lot of the same complexities can exist in even the simplest of lifestyles. Susan and Julie couldn’t be more different, but Cushman makes it easy to relate to both women. After all, most of us have wished for a break from the stresses of every day life, while at the same time feeling the need to do all and conquer all.

If you enjoy Amish fiction, you’ll enjoy this interesting spin on that lifestyle, and what it has to offer to two modern women and their children.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.