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on July 4, 1999
I used to live near the Amish, growing up in Illinois, and so ordered this book. How comforting it was to read about a lifestyle that hasn't changed in hundreds of years. It is somehow comforting to know that there are still places in America where life carries on like this. The book was humerous too, especially if you grew up on a farm. She does a great job of portraying some of the more subtle differences in how the Amish regard money, work and life. This is a terrific read and I would recommend it to anyone. (I can almost see my German-descended grandfather in here - in some ways, he was not too different than the Amish when it came to squeezing a penny.) Anyone who had grandparents who worked the farm, particularly around some of the old German communities, will love this book. It would also be a great book for schools, I think, when the children are studying history and/or different cultures.
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Dr. Kaiser was a no-nonsense country doctor for many years in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. She delivered babies at home for the Old-Order Amish and Mennonites, sometimes arriving at the farmhouse by sleigh, if necessary. She writes with astonishing detail about her patients, their humor and lifestyle. Dr. Kaiser got stuck in mud, snow, was sometimes unavoidably to late to get the baby delivered, but she always treated her patients with deep respect and loving care.
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on August 24, 2001
A truly educational experience in the first person. Grace Kaiser has done an excellent job of documenting her many years of experience as a Practicing Physician living amongst the Amish people. She leaves nothing to the imagination on her birthing experiences. Learned much from reading this book of short stories.
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Author Grace Kaiser began a medical practice in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania around 1950. Many of her patients were Amish and Mennonites and her subspecialty became obstetrician for Pennsylvania Dutch farmwomen who wanted to have their babies at home. Among her patients and their families, she became known as "Dr. Frau", and the book DR. FRAU is a compendium of anecdotes from her three decades of practice.

The book is relatively short and it can be read over a weekend. The writing is relaxed, yet well above the norm for books about a working career published by a small independent press. I have personal reasons for reading and enjoying the book, inasmuch as my mother was a Mennonite raised on a farm in Lancaster County and from my boyhood I am familiar with many of the places mentioned in DR. FRAU. But I don't think one need to have any sort of personal connection to Lancaster County, the Pennsylvania Dutch, or Anabaptist religious communities to enjoy DR. FRAU. The anecdotes are entertaining "human interest" tales. At the same time, the book provides insights into the Amish and Mennonite communities as well as pre-industrial family farming.
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on September 30, 2006
It's been awhile since I've read this book, but I really enjoyed it. Dr Kaiser's book takes you inside Amish homes where she delivers their babies. What really struck me was the fact that many Amish women keep working...canning food...sewing...cooking... right up until the time they are ready to lay down and push the baby out! Dr Kaiser fights her way through snow storms, battles attacking farm dogs and deals with some quirky Amish people which makes for some very entertaining reading!
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on January 3, 2007
This is one of my absolute favorite books. The stories are a fascinating look both at the life of Amish people and human nature. These chapters will make you laugh, feel and think. You can't go wrong with this book and Dr. Kaiser's second book, "Detour" if you have any interest in Amish life and culture.
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on May 21, 2013
It is a sweet story of the dedication of a widewife to the amish people. I had a hard time getting away from it :)
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on January 9, 2015
Extremely interesting for anyone interested in the Amish.
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on August 4, 2014
very interesting..arrived promptly
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on February 21, 2007
I read this book with great interest; I find the Amish and Mennonite to be beacons of true Christianity in this era of materialism and hedonism, and am always seeking to gain a better understanding of them. That, of course, leads me to seek out books like Dr. Frau, yet at the same time it places me in the unfortunate position of creating the demand for books that pry into their personal lives.

This book deals with one of the most guarded aspects of Old Order Amish and Mennonite life--the birth of children. The author of course understands this fully and deals with the actual births in a brief and respectful manner; the stories focus primarily on the circumstances surrounding particular births, such as driving through heavy rain or blizzards, having to hurry between several births on the same day, etc. There are also some stories about her medical practice in general, attending to non-Amish/Mennonites, and rural life.

Unfortunately, I can't say that the author is a particularly good writer, or a natural storyteller. The stories were inconsistant, at times somewhat mundane, and in the end I was left with the sense that this book wasn't entirely complete.
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