What’s It Really Like to Live With the Amish – A Book Review

Several years ago I went to Lancaster Pennsylvania, and spent some time visiting the Amish country. It was incredible and such an interesting way of life considering our modern era. It was like a scene out of the old West where everything was perfect, quaint, well-manicured, and people on their best behavior. It wasn’t like normal everyday life in America, there was something unique, interesting, intriguing, and almost magic about it all. What would it be like to live in such a way?

In many regards it would be like living in the past, in a different era, in a time when our ancestors lived, worked, and ran their farms. Have you ever wonder what it would be like? Perhaps you have wondered, but you don’t actually want to go and live there for a year to find out. Yes, I understand that, it would be hard to give up your iPhone, computer, Internet, and go work the land and live the simple life. Therefore chances are you never will, most people won’t, and yes a few do and they write about it later.

If you’d like to find out what it’s like to live with the Amish, out in the country, almost as if you’re living a scene at of a Hollywood Western movie back in the day, and there is a very good book that I own which I would like to recommend to you. The name of the book is;

“Amish Country,” by Ruth Hoover Seitz and Photographer Blair Seitz, Crescent Books – Random House, Avenel, NJ, 1995, 100 pages, ISBN: 0-517-62365-X.

In this book you will look at pictures of farm houses, horse-drawn buggies, and how children are brought up “living without the exposure to influences that would cause confusion or contradiction to their beliefs,” and how they work the land, recognize their religion, and how they get by with no TV, radio, VCR, computer, smart phone, or any of the other things that we consider a normal part of everyday life. Imagine not having a microwave, modern-day refrigerator, or even a car?

Indeed, I was so fascinated by the book, the pictures, the simplicity and hard work ethic. If you want to learn more about living with the Amish in the countryside, learn about their lifestyle and such, you should probably buy this book and have it on your bookshelf. I think you’ll be impressed and you will learn a lot about the Amish people. Please consider all this and think on it.

Book Review for: "Texas True"

Book Review for: Texas True

Written by: Celia Yeary

Desert Breeze Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61252-028-5

Avail as: eBook only

4.5 Stars

Yeary pens a suspense-filled character driven western romance with “Texas True.” True Cameron longs for a loving husband, a big family, and to live on a ranch, but to make these dreams come true, her patience, courage, and inner strength will be tested like never before.

Set in Texas just after the turn of the 20th Century, True Cameron is a young lady making her debut. Handsome Sam Deleon makes her acquaintance and quickly intrigues her. Sam sets about to win her heart and True is primed to fall.

While True’s feelings are genuine and sincere, Sam’s motives are more complex. He must marry and get an heir so he can come into his family’s inheritance and trust. While he goes about sweeping True off her feet, he does not allow his heart the luxury of love.

True and Sam marry and True quickly determines that the man she married would rather be at the oil fields than with her. True is forced to take in Sam’s niece and nephew once their mother dies, and she realizes she has to live a fuller life than what she is doing. She moves back into her old house, but has erected a stone battlement around her heart, one that won’t be easy for Sam to dismantle now.

True goes to the oil fields to make her marriage to Sam work. The days are long and hard and while the couple share a physical intimacy, they lack the foundation of an emotional one. True, however, has proven to Sam she’s made of sterner stuff and cracks the amour around his heart. Will the news that she’s expecting a baby shatter Sam’s amour or will he draw back and focus on fulfilling duty so he can come into his inheritance?

The story opens with a grand ball, immediately capturing the reader’s attention. The novel flows well and just when the reader lulls into a comfortable pace, Yeary throws in a surprise, building and heightening the suspense.

Yeary’s dialogue rings true, bringing out a rich authenticity to the characters. Her descriptions paint a vivid picture of the beauty which belongs to the Texas range.

The most satisfying part is the rich characterization and Sam’s journey. True lives up to her name. She’s true to her heart, loyal, honest, and courageous. True is also steadfast and it’s that quality that allows Sam to spread his wings emotionally. Sam’s had a hard life and knows only a certain way. His journey will warm the reader’s heart.

The novel is sophisticated for romance readers and Yeary’s love scenes smolder. A pulse-pounding ending will leave the reader on the edge of their seat. “Texas True” will sweep one off their feet and transport them to a time where the west offered an exciting adventure and a chance at finding that rare love of a lifetime.

Reviewed by: S. Burkhart

True Grit: The Nitty Gritty Book Review

I decided to read this book after I watched the Academy Awards a little while ago. John Wayne received an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the 1969 version of True Grit, and the version that came out last year was nominated for ten Oscars. I have not seen either version, and decided to read the book before checking them out. Westerns aren’t what I normally read, but I have enjoyed reading Louis L’Amour in the past.

The book can be summarized by the first sentence on the first page: “People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day”. Mattie Ross is after the man who shot her kind-hearted father in Arkansas, and will stop at nothing until he gets what he deserves. The book is written in a matter-of-fact tone, with the spunk of a stubborn young girl who won’t take no for an answer. She tells the story as an intelligent spinster, looking back on events that would stay with her for the rest of her life.

Mattie travels to Fort Smith where her father was killed, and looks to the U.S. Marshalls for help in avenging the murderous Tom Chaney. She find the true grit she is looking for in one-eyed “Rooster” Cogburn. Shortly after she finds him she is confronted by a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf who has been after Chaney for killing a man in Texas. LaBoeuf and Cogburn agree to go after Chaney, but Mattie is not to be left behind. She stubbornly follows them until they reluctantly agree to let her come along.

The journey to avenge her father’s life isn’t quite what she pictured – traveling long hours on a horse, listening to drunken men talk, and sleeping on rough ground is hard work. I loved how Cogburn calls Mattie “baby sister” and seems to grow fond of her in a rough sort of way. The action-packed ending had me shivering a little bit as Mattie finds herself wedged in a pit with bats brushing up against her from the cave below, and the only thing within reach is a corpse with rattlers coming out the chest looking for a snack. Not so much a fan of snakes.

Although I enjoyed the book, I found the straight-forward narration a little emotionally lacking and dry sometimes. I loved the interactions between Mattie and Rooster, with the stories he told her and the way she looked toward him for help. Not a book I would read again, but worth reading once.