Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Five Things I’ve Learned about the Amish through Reading Fiction

by Meghan Carver

When I pick up a book to read for pleasure, my first goal is usually escape, to be immersed in another world, on a different journey, with other people, to forget where I am and what my current problems are for a time.

I think that’s why most people pick up fiction.

But when I inventory what I’ve been reading recently, I realize I’ve been learning as well. Lurking in between those carefully crafted sentences, the toe-curling scenes of drama and suspense, the creation of other peoples and their worlds, I receive an education.

Here are five things I’ve learned about the Amish through reading fiction ~

(Disclaimer: I have researched for myself all the Amish details in my books. 😊)

The Amish travel and even move sometimes. Because their typical mode of transportation is horse-and-buggy, I always thought the Amish never went far from home. Sure, I knew they would pay a driver sometimes (The Amish Taxi) if they needed a hospital or something a little further away. But travel from state-to-state? And yet, they do. They might pay a driver or, more likely, take a bus or a train, but they visit family and friends in other states. In fact, plenty of Amish have moved, whether it be to find larger areas of land or new job opportunities or to begin a new settlement.

Not all Amish are saved. It’s easy to think that because of the way they look and behave that they are all super-spiritual and close to God. And many are, in fact, wonderful Christians! But just like all churches and denominations, there are many who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. (2 Timothy 3:5)

Church ministers (preachers”) are chosen by lot. This, in particular, fascinates me, because there are no resumes, no interviews, no checking of references, no degrees from seminary. There is great reliance on God’s leading and the trust that the men in the church are all prepared through their own personal study to be spiritual leaders if the Lord should will it.

The women’s dress bodices (the top part) fasten to the skirt with straight pinsall the time. Every morning, they pin their dresses together. It sounds uncomfortable to me, and I think I’d be nervous all the time that it would come undone, but apparently they have a method that makes them secure and comfy. This means they don’t have to resize or let the waistband out as needed.

Weddings typically take place in November and involve a lot of celery. The bride and groom don’t get to choose a wedding date for the season they prefer or a sentimental reason. Most Amish weddings occur in November, after the harvest. They also eat a lot of celery and use it in decorations such as table centerpieces, at least in the Lancaster County area in Pennsylvania.

Of course, it’s still fiction and authors insert their own details if needed to help the story.

But many facts and tidbits I’ve picked up between the pages of those novels have been the inspiration for my own Amish inspirational romantic suspense novels.

Amish Covert Operation is available online and at your favorite retailer in this month of July.

You can find information about my books as well as buy links on my website
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Q4U: What have you learned in your novel reading?


  1. Wow, Meghan, what an interesting post. The Amish are intriguing to me because of their simple lifestyles. I'd never really considered that not all Amish might be saved.

  2. I love your post, Meghan. I, too, have learned some interesting things apart from my research. I ran across that celery thing somewhere. Intriguing - and apparently very healthy.
    I remember the first time I read someone fastening the skirt with straight pins. I have a hard enough time with safety pins!

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow, Meghan. It's fascinating that you have learned so much about the Amish. A lot of research is involved in writing Amish themed books. Thanks for sharing this with us.


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