Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Book Review~Simple Pleasures
Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother, by Marianne Jantzi, is published by Herald Press. It is 262 pages, including A Day in the Life of the Author, Jantzi Favorite Family Recipes, and FAQs About the Amish: The Author Answers.
About the Book: Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family's life on the snowy plains of Ontario. The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.
What I Thought: As a lover of Amish fiction, I have been enjoying the Plainspoken series, which includes real life stories of the Amish and Mennonite in their own words. Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother is a wonderful addition to this series. It is simply the everyday life of an Amish wife and mother-nothing spectacular. But to those of us who are fascinated with the Amish lifestyle, it is a rare look into their lives. I found that, although there are obvious differences (such as no electricity), her life is not all that different from mine. She experiences the same struggles and joys with family life. Mrs. Jantzi is a talented writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed her beautiful descriptions of even the simplest things.
As much as I enjoyed Simple Pleasures, I think it is a book that only those interested in the Amish would enjoy. The only problem I had reading it was the stories were not chronological. An example is one chapter may be talking about their three children, and next they only have one child. It happened often, and was confusing. Other than that, it was a wonderful look into the author's life that was a pleasure to read.
About the Author: Marianne Jantzi is an Amish writer and homemaker in Ontario, Canada. Formerly a teacher in an Amish school, Jantzi now educates and inspires through her "Northern Reflections" column for The Connection, a magazine directed mainly to Amish and plain communities across the U.S. and Canada. She and her husband have four young children and run a shoe store among the Milverton Amish settlement of Ontario.
Read more reviews of Simple Pleasures at Litfuse, and purchase your own copy at MennoMedia.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.