Love: Plain and Simple
Editor’s Note: Visit www.tryloveinspired.com for a FREE copy of Marta Perry’s Hide in Plain Sight as well as other great Love Inspired novels!
By Emily Rodmell, Assistant Editor at Love Inspired Books
When the hustle and bustle of life in the twenty-first century starts to overwhelm them, many readers nowadays are finding escape in novels that deal with a simpler life. A life without cell phones and iPods. A community without TVs and cars. A place where gas lamps and horse-drawn carriages are still ways of life. But it’s not historical fiction they’re reading. The stories are set in the present day but focus on the Amish communities that dot states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The Amish believe that they are called to be separate from the world. They often shun electricity and technology, as they believe that these take time away from family units. They dress in clothing that they term “Plain,” which has no decorations or even zippers. And their lifestyle tends to fascinate those of us who can’t imagine life without modern conveniences. This genre of fiction has become especially popular in the Christian marketplace, as the Amish display a strong sense of faith, family and forgiveness that can be inspirational to Christians who struggle to find balance in a world of temptation.
Imagine what your life would be like if your children didn’t rush home and run straight to the television or computer. Or if both you and your spouse worked in and around the family home. Would you drive each other crazy? Or would you be closer as a group? Though most of us probably wouldn’t want to find out, Amish novels give us the opportunity to eavesdrop on the lives of those who make this lifestyle work for them.
Here at Love Inspired Books, we’ve embraced this genre as well. Author Patricia Davids has written issue-based Amish romance novels for the Love Inspired® line for several years. Her books deal with some of the things that Amish people face while trying to live a Plain life amidst an ever-changing, fast-paced world. Pat’s stories answer some of the questions that people might have about the Amish world. For instance, what would happen if an Amish woman left the church and returned pregnant? That was answered in Pat’s first Amish story, Katie’s Redemption. In that novel, former Amish woman Katie Lantz returns pregnant and destitute to her Amish community to beg her brother for forgiveness and shelter, only to find that her brother has moved far away and sold his home to a handsome young Amish man. Another book deals with what would happen if an Amish woman wanted to raise her orphaned nephew who was not Amish. Would the courts let her? And would she be able to let go of her past to love again? To find out, check out The Farmer Next Door by Patricia Davids, coming in July from Love Inspired.
Available July 2011 from Love Inspired
Amish communities place a huge amount of importance on family. It is not uncommon for Amish families to have significantly more than the national average of 2.5 children. And those children often help out at the farm from a young age. Since there’s no technology to distract them, the families tend to be very close. Love Inspired has focused on that family togetherness with stories by author Emma Miller, who writes books about a widowed Amish mother, Hannah Yoder, and her five daughters, who will each find love over the course of the series. Her next book, Miriam’s Heart, comes out in May from Love Inspired and is sure to touch your heart.
Available May 2011 from Love Inspired
We’ve also strived to honor Amish history. The Amish trace their roots to the Anabaptists of the 1600s, with the first members arriving in America in the 1700s. Author Anna Schmidt is writing a series of historical books about Amish people in the 1920s, called AMISH BRIDES OF CELERY FIELDS. The first title, Hannah’s Journey, will be on store shelves in May from our Love Inspired Historical line. This story focuses on an Amish widow’s search for her son, who’s run away from home. It takes her to an old-time circus and its formerly Amish owner, who just might be convinced to return to his faith for the love of a good woman.
Available May 2011 from Love Inspired Historical
As with all our Love Inspired books, romance is the focus of our Amish stories. Love tends to transcend boundaries. Whether a person is Amish, English (the Amish people’s term for non-Amish), rich, poor or of any race or creed, we all crave a sense of love and family. And at Love Inspired, we’ve found that a love story can be just as powerful whether the characters are just like you or very different from you. After all, opposites do attract. We hope that you’ll find something in the life of the Amish that inspires you to live your own life to the fullest. To live, to love and to focus on the things that really matter in life—God and each other.