My Amish Boyfriend

Friday, January 31, 2014

I know what it feels like to be the only person who’s acting responsible when everyone else is acting like immature juveniles. Yet at the same time, I think maybe it’s my turn – maybe it’s time for me to enjoy being a teenager. I suppose it’s ironic I would experience this sort of thing in Amishland.

Book: My Amish Boyfriend by Melody Carlson, Revell Publishers, 2014
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-18
Subjects: Amish Culture, Family Relationships, Dating Relationships, Faith in God
Summary: What happens when a teenage girl is suddenly forced to start being the adult in the family? In the case of Shannon, it develops an extreme responsibility but also a desire to throw off responsibility and real life and lose herself in romance. So when her mom’s illness finally gets so out of control that they are forced to go to the Amish family that shunned her mom for leaving the Amish culture at age fifteen, Shannon opens herself up to playing and dreaming. When a cute boy gets her attention she begins to think maybe there is something to this Amish culture after all. No matter what happens, it’s going to be one interesting summer!
Notes: Never having even known her mom’s family was still living, Shannon is quite shocked when they pack their bags and head off to live with them for the summer. As with many Amish books, there is a strong focus on comparison of cultures. Shannon decides to see what it would take to be Amish and makes an effort to wear the clothes, learn the language and do the chores like an Amish girl. She fantasizes about marrying the boy she just met and staying here and joining the Amish church. She even shuts down the nagging voice telling her to go slow and cautious. One night she finds herself lying in a wagon alone in the dark with the boy she likes kissing her and starting to move his hands all over her body. She reasons that she will have to eventually draw the line, but has no problem going right up to that line. That’s the big moral issue going on in the story – a young girl is fleeing all the responsibility she has been living in and chooses to live in a fantasy world of her own making. The spiritual issue is her struggle to keep growing in her faith. She speaks of having a close relationship with God until a year ago, when “her mom got sick and instead of going to God for help, continued pulling away from Him.” Eventually she faces enough trials and is surrounded by enough people that deal with trials by praying and trusting God, that she recommits herself to following her faith. Overall, there are some spiritual elements in the story. There’s a lot of the Amish relatives implying that she can’t be a follower of Christ due to not being Amish and some questioning of that by her. There’s her recognition that she needs to pray and return to her faith more. And there’s a miracle that can only be explained by God. It just isn’t necessarily the main point of the book. The main point is her being torn between the dream world and the real world.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 5:3-5 - Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


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