The author, a poet and teacher, reflects on her experiences living in a community of Amish farmers in Iowa in 1993, explores the lore of the Great Plains settlers who came before them, and celebrates life on the land....
|Title||:||Out of This World: A Woman's Life Among the Amish|
|Publisher||:||Viking Adult First Edition edition July 1, 1995|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
|File Size||:||698 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Out of This World: A Woman's Life Among the Amish Reviews
Originally I had borrowed this book from the library. It was so good I bought my own copy. Having worked with Amish people in the past, I read the book to find out more about Amish living. However, the story operates on two levels, the second being living with severe allergies. Ms. Swander had allergies that were life-threatening, so she moved to an Amish area and eliminated almost everything from her diet, and started testing her tolerance to each and every food item. In the beginning she subsisted on nothing but vegetable leaves to see if they triggered allergic reactions. She would add food items one at a time to see how she tolerated them. In all, the book is fascinating from both the medical storyline and also the insight into the lives of her Amish neighbors.
Nice addition to my collection of books about the Amish
On the surface this seemed like an interesting book, but the more I read it, the more disappointed and dismayed I became. It is just another one of those books where some non-Amish person transplants or imposes themselves upon the Amish for their own individualistic reasons. Granted, the author had health issues; but one can learn from the Amish rather than interfere with their lives and communities.
Often in life we struggle with our own journeys -- not understood by the mainstream--but few of us have changed our lifestyles as dramatically as Swander. I found myself constantly amazed at the personal and physical endurance she showed in carving out a new way of life. It is a story of self-denial in the areas of food, companionship, and many of the luxuries we have come to think of as necessities. The simple lifestyle of her Amish neighbors served as a example to the author as she sought answers for healing both physically and spiritually.
My copy of this book is titled "Out Of This World: A Woman's Life Among The Amish", NOT "Out Of This World: A Journey Of Healing". I was disappointed. I was expecting a cultural anthropology of an "English" woman's experiences living in a primarily Amish neighborhood. True, there was some of that in the book. But it was mostly a rambling, self-absorbed personal memoir. The author was writing about her trials in coming to terms with her Environmental Illness. By the end of the book, I was thoroughly bored with her hypnotherapy sessions, her dreams about eating, the many frog legs she actually ate (including details on their capture and slaughter) and exactly how she chewed her yucca. In addition to not being the type of book I was expecting, it appeared to be written in more or less a "stream of consciousness" style, with no logical organization or chronology. In other words, I didn't particularly enjoy the book and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
I lived in the same general area as Swander describes although I know nothing about living among the Amish. I appreciated her comments about having to relearn eating again.