Nonfiction — print. HarperSanFrancisco, 1989. 152 pgs. Library copy.
Subtitled “A Woman’s Journey to the Amish”, the author travels across the country to figure out the root cause of her an obsession with the Amish. Bender’s book is her personal memoir on the two times she lives in Amish families and her struggle to implement the simplicity and plainness of their lives into her own harried Californian existence.
Personally, I am not usually a fan of all-about-me books without some kind of extraordinary situation or problem being the basis of the tale. What’s more, I thought this book would give the reader some insight into the Amish and their culture because Bender lived with them.
But while that’s not the case, I actually enjoyed this memoir. I too have an obsession with the Amish (as you may have noticed), and I think that comes from an interest in the perceived simplicity and plainness of their lives.
After her first visit to the Amish, Bender tries to implement these characteristics in her own life and struggles so badly that she feels like she has to go back. Is there a place for simplicity, plainness, humility in our all-about-me, wired culture? And I guess Bender’s struggle is what I found most interesting about this memoir. There’s a lot of food for thought in this short tale, and I remember putting it down (I read it almost a week ago) with my thoughts abuzz about the struggle to find a healthy balance, purpose, and meaning.
While this is not the book for people looking to learn about the Amish, I found it to be a very interesting addition to my quest to learn more about this community of believers.