Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Anything But Simple by Lucinda J. Miller

You've probably read a novel about the Amish or Mennonites as those books are very popular. But are they accurate? Miller shares an open and honest memoir of what it is really like being Mennonite.

I was impressed with the honesty in Miller's account. She tells of her struggle with the dilemma of wanting to cultivate the Mennonite tradition yet also being a little ashamed of being part of a people thought to be socially backward. She explores the idea of keeping a simple lifestyle. She wonders about being bound by outward appearance, knowing that one could look perfect on the outside but be worldly within. Would losing that separateness on the outside mean losing that consecrated heart on the inside?

I was surprised to read that the Mennonite community is just about like any other Christian community. They have their church splits. They have their conservatives and liberals, differing on the methods used to enforce guidelines.

Miller shares her experiences of joining church, communion (twice a year), and foot washing. She also shares her discovering the reward of putting feelings to words and her desire to achieve fame as an author. She takes us through her dreams, dashed and then reborn.

There is a question and answer section at the end of the book. In it, Miller shares many facts about clothing, history, difference between Amish and Mennonites, use of modern technology, and the suggestion to find out more from bloggers listed at https://themennonitegame.com/.

I recommend this memoir to those who want to get a realistic account of one person's experience of growing up Mennonite. Her writing style is not sophisticated but does give readers an enlightening account of being a single and Plain Mennonite woman today.

You can watch the book trailer here.

My rating: 4/5.

Lucinda J. Miller is a writer, teacher, blogger, and member of a conservative Mennonite community in Wisconsin. She teaches elementary school at Sheldon Mennonite Church, and her writing has appeared in Daughters of Promise and Red Cedar Literary Journal. Her children's book, The Arrowhead, is forthcoming from Christian Light Publications. You can find out more at http://lucindajmiller.com/.

Herald Press, 196 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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