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Modern-day career woman and homemaker Bender tells of the compulsion--for Amish dolls and quilts that seemed to evoke a simpler life--that took her from New York State to Iowa and Ohio, where she lived with sympathetic Amish families and began the journey of self-discovery here described. The unvarying rhythm of "plain" lives, the importance placed on every day's manual labor and the absence of contemporary distractions such as telephones and microwaves proved revelatory; the one-time Californian was awed by "an aesthetic leanness, a paring down that I have come to appreciate." In her graceful tribute to a community of people who value the ordinary as an end in itself, Bender allows us to sojourn vicariously miles away from the frenzy of contemporary urban life.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"An account of a quest that leaves [Bender] content and, magically, has the same effect on the reader. . . In prose that seems to echo the rhythm of Amish life, the author kicks around some old questions--What really matters? Is there another way to lead a good life?--with surprising freshness. . .Listening to her gentle voice consider the questions is charming and, somehow, invigorating." -- The New York Times Book Review
"As simple and vibrant a creation as the Amish quilts that first drew Bender into her journey." -- -- San Francisco Focus
"I haven't read such a nourishing book for a long time." -- May Sarton
"In 1967, Sue Bender found herself mesmerized by the dark muted colors of Amish quilts and the haunting beauty of their faceless stuffed dolls. The quiet simplicity of these crafts eventually led her on a journey of self-discovery to two Amish communities in 1982. Not surprisingly, Sue Bender, an over-achiever with two Masters degrees and two careers, found herself strongly attracted to the predictable rhythm of Amish life she encountered. Like her extended retreat, this simple book, describing both the ways of the Amish and their effect upon the author, is an escape for the reader as well. There are glimpses into Amish life: the wagon built to transport benches to the weekly home prayer groups, teenage girls who wear electric blue Nikes under their long black dresses, the democratic selection of a minister by drawing lots, and a no-holds waterfight among the nine Beiler children. Set against this background is Sue Bender's quest to discover inner wealth, to quiet the ramblings of ego, and to explore the part of her existence which values simplicity. With the Amish women as her mentors, she questions the obvious limits of their domain as well as her own frenzied pace. Walking to town one hot sunny day, Sue Bender calls out to the horse-drawn buggies, "Am I on the right road?" It's a question we should all ask ourselves." -- Marilyn Meyer, 500 Great Books by Women
"Just plain wonderful...I haven't read such a nourishing book for a long time." -- -- May Sarton
I read this book 20 years ago and have re-read it several times. I've also given it as a gift to friends. Pure simplicity.Published 2 months ago by MammaG
I too was hungry for something simpler being the creator of lists of my lists and even more lists of ideas and such. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Cynthia L. Riley
Excellent book about the Amish, mindfulness, gratitude, and finding peace.Published 6 months ago by LeoVirgoCusp
A simple thought provoking book about the values of Amish lifePublished 6 months ago by Henry's Grandma
This book started out rather interesting but a red flag of sorts went up pretty quickly. The author started feeling restless and overwhelmed by her busy life and was looking to... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Horselady
This is a wonderful book about the sacredness of ordinary things. We often try to look for the divine in the extraordinary. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amos Smith
great story about looking at the Amish and their pace of life and trying to incorporate these traits into 'regular' life. Great book!Published 10 months ago by Leslie Arnold