Inside the Simple Life
Inside the Simple Life: Finding Inspiration among the Amish by Susan Hougelman gives a look at the Amish through the eyes of an Englisher. We get to see the true sense of community. If someone is sick, for example, and they are unable to do their chores or plow their feeds. The rest of the community will help them. They will also provide meals, take care of their animals, do laundry, and clean their home. They will also help with the medical bills. If someone loses their barn or home, the community will come together to rebuild it. Susan Hougelman gives us an inside look at Amish life and shares her memories. There are beautiful photographs throughout the book as well. I enjoyed reading Susan Hougelman’s recollections as she met the Amish people in her area and developed relationships with them. We learn about some of the rules, rituals, and philosophies of the Amish in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. I liked that while the Amish may dress differently and live differently from us, there are many similarities. The author’s writing style is like she is sitting next to me chatting. I can tell that Susan Hougelman respects the Amish and genuinely cares for them. Inside the Simple Life only portrays the positive side of the Amish. It is not a balanced perspective. I did find that there was some repetition of details. I would have liked the author provide information about the Amish that is not common knowledge. I think our society and families would be better if we adapted some of the ways of the Amish. Technology may help improve our lives in some ways, it can also be detrimental to families (less together time). Overall, I enjoyed reading Inside the Simple Life. Those readers who enjoy Amish fiction, will like getting to learn more about the Amish people of New Wilmington. Inside the Simple Life is an interesting book filled with the author’s reminiscences of how she started her business and got to know the Amish of New Wilmington.
The Avid Reader