Friday, August 17, 2012

This Book Room: Almost Amish

Julie Charlton is at the breaking point. She's overwhelmed and burned out, and in today's unrelenting society, her kids are, too. When her sister-in-law Susan, a Martha Stewart-in-training, lands the chance to participate in a reality TV series promoting simple living, and needs another family to join her, it seems like the perfect opportunity. The location is an idyllic farm outside an Amish community in Tennessee. Julie, with her two children, joins Susan and her teenage daughter for a summer adventure. Susan needs to succeed in order to become self-sufficient after an ugly divorce, Julie needs to slow down long enough to remember what her priorities are and regain a sense of purpose and meaning. It becomes clear from the start that "living simple" is no simple matter. 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. With each new challenge, their season of "going Amish" gets more and more complicated, as each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.

My thoughts: This book was fascinating to read, in that the premise was interesting. I enjoyed reading about the behind-the-scenes of a reality television show. But, overall, this book was just okay for me. While I really liked that there were a lot of characters, the book was also difficult to follow because of the number of characters. Also, the characters were incredibly annoying, particularly Susan. I kept waiting to really fall in love with Susan and for her redemptive qualities to show through. While she became better, I still didn't like her at the end of the book.

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

No comments: