Seems there’s a steady wave of Amish love stories filling Kindles and Amazon.com orders these days. The authors take us to serene country settings and keep us turning pages without the hot and steamy love scenes found in most other romance novels. Amish romance novels have been selling exceptionally well for the last several years and their demand continues.
So, what’s the appeal of these bedroom-free wholesome love stories? Well, I asked myself the very same question. “Amish love stories?” I’d never heard of such a thing. Then a friend mailed me her used copy of The Shunning by Beverly Lewis. I was hooked and bought the other two books of the series. I’ve been reading Amish fiction ever since. I’m even trying my hand at writing one.
My own personal like of Amish novels is the homey feel and the sense of value in the doing of ordinary things that is presented in these stories. The Amish give great care to their community, work, home and family. Daily chores are not just something to get over with. They are done with care and the knowledge that their actions help sustain each member of the family and community. They are part of a whole. No one stands out on purpose. It’s one of the reasons they all dress the same. And no one is considered better than anyone else. They do the best they can to attend to their duties and to one another’s needs and leave the loose ends to God. Changing bed sheets or making dinner (for spouse, family or a neighbor in need) is not a trivial thing to an Amish woman. It gave me pause to think of my chores a bit differently.
Research shows that the majority of readers of the Amish romance genre enjoy the simplicity that is portrayed in the stories; a simplicity that is completely opposite of our lifestyle, including the whole dating scene. Amish couples go to “singings” together and ride discreetly under the moonlight in a courting buggy. Sounds romantic to me. While living without electric, cars, television, cell phones or computers might not be a big draw for us, realistically speaking, a quieter existence has a certain innate appeal. After all, our lives are often hectic and full of modern “noise” such as traffic, ringing phones, blaring music and/or television. And as much as we strive for a sense of independence, it can also make for a sense of loneliness at one time or another. The “me, myself and I” concept doesn’t exist in Amish culture. The selfless attitude carries over into marriage. Both partners have their specific roles that they strive their best to do well for one another and their family.
Last autumn my husband and I took a drive to an Amish area in upstate, New York. When we stopped the car, we heard the fields rustle in the breeze. A clip clop sound was soon revealed by a horse and buggy passing us by. The Amish driver tipped his hat in greeting. A little further down the road an Amish man pitched hay into the loft of a barn, and a little girl walked barefoot in the fields. Idyllic scenes to us. Ordinary life to the Amish.
Truth be told, I know I wouldn’t last more than a couple of days in an Amish household without any of the amenities I am so accustomed to. But I can go visit that lifestyle whenever I want by immersing myself in a good Amish novel…read by electric light.
Following are some authors of Amish novels (there are many other good ones too) that you might enjoy. Their books can be purchased easily on www.Amazon.com:
Shelley Shephard Gray