Urban Amish? Debut of Plain & Simple Series

Ever Heard of “Urban Amish”?
 February Book Review Blitz #5
 Jayne Tate is an investigative reporter for a major daily. When her editor demands she take time off to grieve the death of her father and get her writing back up to par, Jayne instead follows her instincts. She’s certain there’s a story to uncover about the Amish, but where to start?

An initial interview with the intriguing owner of an Amish furniture store opens the door for Jayne to live with the Amish family he left behind. What she doesn’t yet know is that her journalistic observations of this sincere, yet conflicted family are destined to cause reflections of her own childhood.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit an Amish community for a little while? Imagine the simplicity and quiet without the barrage of technology. I’m not sure I could give up my laptop for long, but it would be fun to experience the culture for a few days.

That’s what Jayne Tate got to do in Plain Jayne by debut author Hillary Manton Lodge. Jayne didn’t exactly find it easy to give up her laptop either, but visiting Amish country gave her an opportunity to do some soul searching. To be honest, when I received my complimentary review copy from Hillary Lodge’s publicist, I thought, not another Amish book! They’re everywhere and I’m a little burned out on them. But this author has a different slant than so many of the other series that are out there.

Lodge skips all the Pennsylvania Dutch jargon that other authors have in their Amish books. You won’t find any “wunderbar gut” or “Rumschpringe” here, and I found that refreshing. Instead, the author focuses on the characters and plot, and she does it without doing an injustice to Amish culture. The other difference is that this book focuses more on a non-Amish character whose encounter with the Amish helps her put her own future into perspective, where authors focus exclusively on an Amish young person struggling to decide whether or not to embrace the Ordnung. Although some of that is sprinkled in the story, it isn’t the main conflict.

This was fun to read. I love the wit in this author’s writing voice. Her humor and personality come through in a way that make me want to meet her in person. Harvest House Publishers knew what they were doing when they signed this author. I enjoyed this book very much, I’m looking forward to more from Lodge’s Plain and Simple series.

Plain Jayne (Plain and Simple)

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