About the Book:
In the pages of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns while the reader sits in. The book’s editor, Lorilee Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collected these personal writings and authentic perspectives on life, hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God from Anabaptist women’s periodicals. Among the stories shared are essays penned by well-loved Amish and Mennonite writers such as Sherry Gore, Linda Byler, Lovina Eicher, Dorcas Smucker, and Sheila Petre.
Craker, who describes herself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies, grew up in Manitoba where the Mennonite community was large. Her mother’s family came from Ukraine in the 1870’s and were pioneers who homesteaded on the prairies. Her father’s family arrived in Canada after World War II when they fled Stalin and his holocaust. She knew from early on there were lots of different kinds of Mennonite stories, but she never realized there was anything “different” about the way she grew up until she arrived in Chicago for college. “Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being my kind of Mennonite were one and the same. This assumption led to lots of explanations on my part about the difference between my modern Mennonite upbringing (‘like Baptist, with a German accent and special foods’) and those other related subcultures.”
The stories in this book are divided into six sections: Welcome, Abide, Testimony, Wonder, Kindred and Beloved. While I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection, the one that spoke to me most was, Stories Rustling in the Branches. I too, love to record family stories, and know you sometimes have to dig for them, or simply listen. As Gertrude Schlabach puts it: "When we have the opportunity, we should take part in family reunions. If we listen closely, we'll hear stories rustling in the branches."
In exchange for an honest review, publicist, Audra Jennings provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.