“Murder, Plainly Read: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery” by Isabella Alan –
““Everyone in my old district disliked the old bishop in some way or another. He was a hard man. To him, life was meant to be about work and suffering. There was no joy in his heart. He believed the more you worked and the more miserable you were, the closer you were to Gott. It was something I could never believe. If Gott loves us so much, how could he want us to suffer?”
I blew on a spoonful of stew. “Even still, it must have been hard to leave.”
He was quiet for a moment. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” He smiled at his wife. “But I have never regretted my decision. I know this is the path that Gott wanted for me.””
Yes, this is fiction, but the idea is true for most conservative religions: one person trying to pick the path of another by proclaiming that “it’s what God wants”. A prominent example that routinely pisses me off is the idea that women belong in the home while men are the sole income earner. The abuse that tends to come out of this “ideal” is appalling.
Start reading this book for free: http://amzn.to/2etAQIj
This is my first taste of the Amish-themed books that have recently become popular. Given how most I’ve seen have been “Amish Romances”, I’ve been worried that the authors are doing nothing more than promoting the “Disneyfication” of Amish life.
Well, I can happily say that not only does this book not present a Disney version of being Amish, it pokes fun (and seriousness) at the practice of turning Amish Country into a tourist attraction.
While I find the Amish fascinating enough, I also respect their privacy. I could never go on one of those “Amish Tours” as though they’re museum pieces. While it seems like most of the tourists on these excursions look at the Amish as being weird, I think that the tourists are actually the weird ones. When I get wistful for a simpler life, I try to look at my own life and figure out what I can cut out of it, rather than going out into the country to stare at the folks who actually have cut out the non-essentials.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a nice summer cozy mystery, this one is as good as any with the addition of learning about a new culture. One of my aunts lives in Kentucky where there is a pretty decent sized Amish population and one year I went out there for their volunteer fire department’s annual fish fry and auction fundraiser. I understand that there are 2 distinct groups of Amish in that area and both groups sewing circles donated a hand-sewn quilt to be auctioned off. They were simply gorgeous! One of the quilts was white on white and the design was amazing.