Let’s talk about THE AMISH

So many times I hear people say and see them post on social media about THE AMISH.

Now the reason this post is here instead on my www.AmysAmishAdventures.com page is because it’s not about the Amish. Any of them.

See when people say THE AMISH it is all-encompassing statement. It’s like saying THE OKIES or THE CAUCASIANS. Can you think of anything you can say after this that would be a completely true statement? I can’t.

The more I learn about the Amish the better I understand how much there is to still know. I consider myself learned where the Plain people are concerned, but I am by no means an expert. And honestly, I don’t believe anyone can be.  (Sorry to those who consider themselves experts. There are definitely some who know more than others.) Yet even Sadie, my Amish friend, sometimes can’t answer my questions about THE AMISH. And she’s Amish!

Why?

I have Amish friends who live side by side yet are in different church districts. There has to be a cut off somewhere. These friends are actually siblings. Yet, one is allowed to have solar power and the other isn’t. And this isn’t the only difference. Never mind settlements that are separated by states, different living conditions, and social interaction.

So many times I see readers say “if a book has a mistake in it concerning THE AMISH, I put it down and won’t read anything by that author again.”

How unfair to the author and the reader both! Especially since the author may be correct and the reader misinformed.

The Amish in Wells Landing (Chouteau) use tractors. I have seen Amish girls in Lancaster play with commercially made dolls, with faces! The Amish I met in Tennessee dress all their children in ‘dresses’ until they are potty-trained. I could never imagine Sadie or any of my other Lancaster friends doing this.

I have read true news stories where Amish have been in trouble for fighting, cutting the beards off their neighbors, and have even gotten divorces. This isn’t the norm, but it happens, at least according to Google and MSNBC.

Recently I wrote about tolerance and values. Today I’m writing about tolerance and understanding.

I love to visit the Amish. I love to research Amish settlements, even if I don’t have plans to set book a book there. Why? Because I want to know more about different Amish communities. I want to come back and share with you what I learned, what I saw, and the people I met.

I research the settlements where I want to set books. Sometimes this research occurs before the outlines are even written. Then I come back home, start writing, and have questions I can’t answer despite my efforts.

It’s extremely difficult to research the Amish. Even more so Amish settlements like Pontotoc, MS, and Ethridge, TN. Lancaster is a different matter. Still difficult, but at least they are not as wary of strangers.

Another concept I find interesting is the popularity of Amish proverbs. But that may need to wait until another day.

What about you? Have you found what you thought was a mistake in a story? Did you finish reading it? Or do you read for the story and don’t concern yourself with minute details? Please be as positive and uplifting as possible! If you can’t, then please don’t mention any names or clues that might damage a reader’s opinion of an author. Remember one man’s trash applies to books as well.

Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amish Brides. *

The winner will be announced Friday September 8, 2017, on the next blog. Comments will be taken until midnight EDT Thursday September 7, 2017. **

And remember…always spread JOY!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Amish Brides, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.
**Due to the high cost of shipping, any international winner will be sent an ebook. Thanks for understanding. :)

I’m really behind in announcing winners! Congrats to those whose names were drawn!

 

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88 thoughts on “Let’s talk about THE AMISH

  1. I have found errors in books. Main one though was Bible verse used it was incorrect on where it was in the Bible. I did tell the author cause it was used many times throughout the book. I usually finish reading the books. I know we all make mistakes I can handle that.
    Blessings
    Diana

    1. One of my editors always checks that sort if thing. I get a message out to the side that says, “verified.” :) But I can’t say that I don’t have mistakes in my books. As a perfectionist, just the thought drives me crazy, but we are all human after all! Thanks, Diana!

      1. loved your blog. Cause i love learning, But i know there are many different Amish. So it doesn’t mean what a author says about them is wrong. I know around here they to live next door or across the road from each other but are different. I always read the books I’m not only reading to learn about them I am reading cause I enjoy the story. Usually only reason I quit reading would be the book is so foul or nasty. Other then not happening here I read. Yours are always great and i guess there will always be picky people. Hmm wonder how perfect they are? I know what God says about that. Your awesome please keep on doing what your doing! God is in it.

  2. I wouldn’t stop reading a book if I “thought” there was a mistake because I’ve learned how different groups/communities have different views/beliefs/customs, etc. The authors that I read (Amish Christian Fiction) have proven that they do LOTS of research before writing their books. No, I would never stop reading my favorite genre from my favorite authors!
    Susan in NC
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

    1. Good for you, Susan! I always try to bring something new to my stories, a new place, a new idea about the Amish, but it can be hard with such savvy readers! :)

  3. When I read a book that has Amish included, I realize that maybe not all of the information is exactly correct. That doesn’t stop me from reading that book or another by the same author because getting to know Amish ways isn’t an easy thing, like you stated because there are so many different communities. Which to me isn’t any different than all of the different churches that we have and if someone would write about one of those and something isn’t completely correct again, I wouldn’t stop reading books by that author because of a mistake. I love to read so a few little mistakes don’t make a difference to me because I have seen mistakes in books and it wasn’t necessarily due to an authors error because it could have been just a printing error.

    1. Printing errors happen all the time. Authors of traditionally published books get one last look before the book is sent out, but by then we’ve read the thing six or seven times. (And are sort of tired of it. I mean this in the nicest way possible.) It’s really hard to find mistakes after all that! LOL

  4. I enjoy reading a book for the story and don’t even think about maybe the author making a mistake. It is obvious that the author has done quite a bit of research! I look forward to each book by that author. Just as there is a difference in religions, churches, beliefs, people, etc., it can vary. No, I don’t stop reading a book because it seems the author may have made a mistake. After all, I am not reading that author’s books to try to find mistakes or wrong info, but because I love to read and a good author’s books are a real treasure find!! I enjoy your Amish books!!

  5. My husband and I had the fortune of visiting Amish in Etheridge Tenn last summer. The tour guide told us lots about them. I was surprised to learn their youth do not do rumspringa. We visited several farms on the tour and bought baked goods and homemade crafts. We want to go back when we can travel again.
    I overlook simple mistakes especially if the book is enjoyable. There is a particular reviewer I notice that mainly writes one to three star reviews. She is nitpicky to the max. When I see she’s posted a book on her TBR pile I think, poor author, she will chew you up!

    1. I guess some people are just like that! I’ve been to Ethridge too and want to go back. When I was in Pontotoc, MS, doing research for my upcoming series, they told me that they do have rumspringa but not in the way that most English think. Pontotoc is a spin-off settlement from Ethridge, but I want to ask someone in Ethridge just to be certain.After all, they could have different views on it. My new friend in Mississippi said that the youth there are kept on a tighter leash than most. She had moved to MS from Ohio. So they have a rumspringa, but there are no secret parties, no hidden cars, cigarettes, or any of the other vices most believe they allow their children to indulge in. It’s all very interesting stuff! :)

    1. I enjoy reading about the Amish and Mennonite people. I know a little about them but not sure I would know a mistake an author made because there are so many differences in the districts. Even if I did, I wouldn’t stop reading that author’s books. We visited Shipshewana last year, enjoyed being there. I have so much respect for them. I visited with a woman in a shop and found out I had bought a quilt at her brother’s family shop on their farm. It feels even more special. Winning the book would be awesome.

      1. Thanks, Janie! I haven’t been to Shipshewana. Yet! LOL I bought a doll in Tennessee and found out it was the last one the bishop allowed her to sell in the shop. Then we visited her house to look at her husband’s wood shop. It does make it very special!

  6. I sometimes find things that do make me go hmmmm……but since I am not an expert I am very accepting of what is written. Plus, the books are fiction so feel some creative liberty can be taken. Sometimes a mom will be mamm and sometimes regular mom, grossdaadi/grossdawdi. Kinda like potato/potawto!! Interesting and thought-provoking blog post as always!

    1. Thanks, Linda! The interesting thing about PA Dutch is it wasn’t a formally written language. So when they started writing it down no set spelling was devised. That’s why you’ll see things like Mamm, Maam, and Mom. When in Lancaster County, I noticed that the girls called their mothers “mom” but in Pontotoc, the children said “maam.” Like, yes, ma’am. (I say girls because that’s who I usually hang out with. I’m sure the boys do the same.)

  7. I enjoy reading about the Amish and Mennonites Since I live in Southern York Co Pa and travel to Lancaster PA quite frequently I find that the Amish are very polite and helpful people. I also have noticed how well behaved the Amish children are when they are out in public I really respect them and their culture. Of course I love all your books! Thanks for writing such an interested article Amy

    1. Thanks, Patricia! Amish children are usually very well-behaved. Stacey and I have talked about it and we think it has to do with the amount of time Amish women spend with their children. They have such patience and then they wag those kids all over. :)

  8. I am always interested in learning new facts about the Amish. Love your books. I love the way the Amish people are so family oriented and how they all come together to help their neighbors, even if they don’t know them whether Amish or English.

    1. That is one of my favorite things about them too! Somethings they do,I feel we (Englishers) would do the same, but it’s their attitude toward it,. Almost thankful to have the opportunity to help instead of it being a chore. Thanks for reading!

  9. I love learning about the Amish and how they live and their family traditions. I love r4eading Amish books. Thanks for a chance to win. Thanks for your hard work in writing great Amish stories.

  10. Amish fiction is my favorite genre of books to read. I honestly can’t think of one Amish book that I have read that I didn’t like, or didn’t finish, and I don’t nitpick or question things about the Amish culture that is written in a book. If anything, it might interest me and cause me to want to learn more. I find their way of life, commitment to God and family, and faith so fascinating and inspiring. I read Amish fiction not just because I enjoy learning about the Amish, but because they almost always strength my own faith in one way or another. I would love to win a copy of your book Amish Brides! Thanks so much for the opportunity and for the interesting facts about the differences in some of the Amish communities!

  11. You know I think people tend to forget the Amish are no different than any other group of people in the world, and within that group or community or culture whatever you want to call it there are various sub groups of people each with a slight difference, I think sometime people sensationalize the Amish which to me is the worst thing you can do. They are a wonderful group of people and I respect them so very much but like everyone they also have their problems like us. I really enjoy learning about them and look forward to learn more. Thanks Amy for your insight.

    1. You are so right! They are people just like us with warts and freckles and familial problems. I think it’s how they handle these problems that we can learn from. Thanks for reading!

  12. I have found a few errors, the wrong name was used, a type of flower was said to be growing in the wrong season, weird things like that. However, I am not even close to knowledgeable enough on the different types of Amish to know if something was a mistake or not. I do not stop reading a book because of an error. I would not want to be ignored because I made a mistake.

    1. I’m always afraid I’ll make a mistake like that and in fact I have. I plot out each book before I begin writing, but sometimes a story takes an unexpected turn. (Did you know that characters can get away from authors and do their own thing? LOL) That’s when the trouble begins for me! Thanks for reading!

  13. I never stop reading because of an error…after all we are human, and NO ONE is perfect. I truly enjoy reading all stories relating to Amish. I love the simple life, religious beliefs, family time. What a beautiful way to be raised.
    Continue your writings. You are doing great!! Thank you. 😊

  14. Everyone makes mistakes, doesn’t matter who you are! That would not stop me from reading books. We travel about 40 miles 1 way to buy our produce from the Amish! We learn something new each time we go. When we go, If I have a question about canning, they are eager to answer my questions if they can. We found out if their produce sign isn’t out, you don’t go on their property, We have one place we go to every year, The Father of that family told us we were welcome if the sign was out or not. A couple of years ago he had a stroke and we didn’t know until we went down the following year. So when we went, we would stop to see how he was doing. If you respect them they respect you. Enjoy reading about their life styles. So, no it wouldn’t matter to me.

  15. Non of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, and one mistake in a story should not stop you from enjoying the book or learning any lessons the book may teach us. Love your books.

    1. Thanks, Monica! That is a wonderful way to put it! After all of the editing a book goes through you’d think they all would be mistake free, but we are human after all. :)

  16. I don’t find that many mistakes while reading, but I’m really not looking for them, I just want to enjoy the story. If the story is told well, then it’s very enjoyable.

    1. I can be nitpicky–too many years editing my own work I suppose. I’m trying to teach myself not to be. I’ve started listening to audio books recently and that’s helping since I don’t see the printed page. I would love to learn to tone myself down and enjoy the story more. :)

  17. I thnk that Amish are different just like any other religion. For instance a Baptist or Presbyterian church may differ in another part of the country. I tend to not be so wrapped up in these details and let the author use their poetic license to create their story.

  18. I still read the books. Sometimes I google because I’m curious if it was a mistake or truth. I do lots of research as well and don’t always get things write so I cut people a lot of grace:)!

  19. I’ve learned over a period of time that most Authors do at least a little research on their story. I’ve also learned that Authors of Amish stories, either know an Amish person willing to talk about their life or they have done a lot of research or both. I’m not totally dependent on the research to help me like a story. How a person starts a story, is what will keep me coming back. There’s a few Amish Authors that I really like. But even they don’t keep me interested at times. A homey, down to earth friendly start to a book is what I like. However, because authors DID do some research, I’ve got myself a small education about the Amish. I’d like an Amish pen pal. I don’t know how to go about getting one. Thank You for caring about whether or not you have facts. A reader may not know exactly when they are reading a fact, but you do. In the front or back of a lot of Amish bks is a list of German/Amish words. Very helpful!!

    1. Thanks for reading, Janet! I admit that I don’t use a lot of PA Dutch words in my books these days. I did at first, but after spending time with the Amish, I’ve found they use one or the other unless they can’t find the right English word. Those words are hard to come by in the middle of writing and I like to keep things as authentic as possible.:)

  20. i was a history major and once in a while i might see a historical error….doesn’t keep me from reading what i started, or reading more by that author….i know i don’t have my facts straight 100% of the time

  21. I love reading about the Amish and I depend on the author’s input and study to write a good book. How do I know if a mistake is made or not,I keep on reading. Thanks for your great books.

  22. I will continue to read a book if I find a “mistake”. I know that authors give of themselves in every books they write.

  23. From reading Amish books I have learned that there are many different kinds of Amish. I know I am certainly not an expert on the Amish. I just read the book and enjoy the story.

  24. If it’s a trusted author who I know to do research, I mostly take their word. I think the problem is the folks who jumped on the “amish bandwagon” and publish without knowing a lot about the amish. Generally their books will have so many editing errors, misspellings, they aren’t well-known at all….those I am leary about. But do want to give their books a chance–after all, all authors had to start fresh somewhere, too.

    1. That’s a sweet and wonderful attitude, Loretta! I was so nervous when I published my first Amish book. Who was I to be writing about the Amish? Now I can’t imagine it any other way!

  25. only mistakes i have found would be grammatical errors……the way a sentence is worded…..other than that i dont look as hard to find other faults cuz i know everyone is different.

    1. noticed i made a mistake in my name…..should have read Barbara Hamby…..i noticed i was not the only Barbara that left a comment so thought i would through that in

  26. I fine a few mistakes but I still read them,I love reading about Amish and different things that each one does.I went two different Amish one was in In. The other one was in Ky. It just amazing what different things that they make.

    1. That’s my favorite thing about visiting different communities. They are so different yet have common core values. The Mennonites are even more varied. :) Thanks for reading!

  27. I have found some errors, but one that seems most prevalent from author to author is that phrase ” filled her soul, or completed her soul, or transforming her soul, ” or something similar. If you go back and read earlier Amish fiction you usually don’t find that type of phrasing. The things that bugs me the most over this is the way it is applied to a spiritual context, as if a man they long for could do that. I can see how a growing relationship with a man can change a woman, but honestly if some of these authors could hear how that sounds, read aloud, they might see how that throws their book from an “Amish” type of book to a type of book that does not really fall into that category. Amish to me, is based on a simple, separate type of people that set themselves to follow their beliefs in relation to God. It is not so much a lack of electricity, or automobile use, it is the devotion to God, family, and community that sets them apart. You wouldn’t expect a person living in the Deep South to wear heavy winter coats year long, like someone from a very cold climate to wear. How could you expect one Amish community to exist and function identical to another, perhaps states away? It would be like comparing apples and oranges. What you would expect though to see, I believe, is their devotion to a plain, simple, life based on their belief in God, service to Him, and love of family and community. Yes, I have closed up books when I came to certain passages in books, mainly based on sexual references, that I believe cross the line too far, or extreme violence or drug abuse. If I want to be exposed to those things all I have to do is turn on the news. That is not entertainment or enrichment to my life.

    1. What we romance authors call “heat level” is very important to readers. I don’t mind a sexier book (just not too sexy), but I know a great many people do. It is definitely a divider. That’s the main reason I came up with my rating system. After all, I cut my teeth writing contemporary romance and tend to have ideas in several sub genres. But I love the Amish stories and I love writing ‘sweet.’ I;m with you–if I want all that reality, I’ll turn on the news! LOL Thanks for reading!

  28. If I find an error – grammatical or factual – I still continue reading. We all make mistakes once in a while. I find reading about the Amish very informative, enjoyable and relaxing. I live in central PA and there are several small groups of Amish in my area.

  29. I would still read the book. In the fiction books I have found some things the author wrote and thought that the author wrote it all wrong and didn’t do their research enough but still I keep reading and don’t question it. After visiting New Wilmington, Pa this past weekend I did notice the Amish are different from the Lancaster County Amish and the Amish in the Mohawk Valley in New York near where I live. The New Wilmington Amish has changed my views of the different Amish groups that are out there and I respect them even more. New Wilmington Amish was the friendliest people I have met compared to the Amish near me.

    1. That’s a great observation! How fortunate that you can visit the different communities. I find their differences very interesting. Thanks for reading! :)

  30. I am not informed enough to recognize most errors outside of grammatical errors and that doesn’t bother me. I love to read Amish literature because it usually slows me down and I find I am simplifying my life in little ways, Love your stories! Keep up the good work!

  31. We have Amish families very near us and others scattered across our county. Even in a county as small as ours there are some differences in these groups so I would never say that an author is so wrong that their story shouldn’t have been written! Thanks for an inspection post.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

  32. I trust the authors to know what they are writing about when they write their books. They may not know all there is to know at the time, but I’m sure they do research when they can. Some of what goes on in an Amish home is different than what we who are not Amish allow in our homes. The whole shunning thing is just something that I would have a hard time with. It’s amazing the different ways that each community does things, some things are the same I’m sure due to the Amish teachings, but then other communities do things according to their districts and what their bishop allows. It’s just fascinating reading. I feel like I am in their homes or church services while reading the books.

  33. I’ve read some books that would have something different what I’ve read in another, but I guess that’s just to be expected with each author. But I like to read the authors I know put research and work into their books, and for the most part it’s the same. I have read unfamiliar authors and could really tell the difference. But I really enjoy reading and learning the ways of the amish.

  34. I think it is so important to give each other a little grace! Grace to allow others to make mistakes without each one being a capital offense, to be forgiving, and not hold others to such an unrealistic standard. An author, any author, is simply sharing a snapshot… whether their story is true or imagined, an author can only provide one rendition of what they feel the story should tell. Even when based on a group like “the Amish”, we must remember that their culture isn’t filed with cookie cutter renderings of the same beliefs, attributes or attitudes. I would never put a book down, or patently refuse to read and authors work for a single mistake.
    Trdivincenzo ( at) gmail (dot) com

  35. I love reading about different Amish communities and settlements. Just as God has made each one of us unique and different, the same holds true for each Amish district. I like reading about the many different aspects of each community. While different they all share the common bond of faith in God and a great sense of community. I always find new information I never knew before when I read well researched Amish novels that stay true to the Amish culture and faith.

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