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Sarah's Seasons: An Amish Diary and…
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Sarah's Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation

by Martha Moore Davis

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0877457425, Paperback)

When an unlikely friendship was seeded between Sarah Fisher, an Amish woman in rural Iowa, and Martha Moore Davis, an "English" from outside Fisher's Old Order community, one outcome was this quiet, unassuming, often lovely book. In Sarah's Seasons Davis braids together Fisher's brief diary entries marking the seasons and the daily work of a community that spurns modern conveniences. One typically spare entry relates: "In the evening, Eli took Katie to Lloyds. We stopped at Dad's to see Mom. Went to hospital. Barbara was born." No earthshaking insights are spilled, just the ebb and flow of a life that harks back to older times when God and family reigned and folks came together to help one another with tasks too big for a few hands. Recipes and conversations further point up the contrasts between the lives led by Fisher and Davis.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:00 -0400)

Sarah Fisher's brief daily notations, recorded on a calendar throughout 1976 and 1977, reveal an ongoing account of her seasonal routine. In many ways the straightforward simplicity of her writing is a reflection of her life near rural Kalona, Iowa, a life filled with what Martha Davis calls look-easy tasks undertaken without the conveniences of electricity, phones, or automobiles. For Sarah, diaries are a record. "A diary can settle a question, a disagreement," she tells Martha. "You look back and see what took place. That's history." Through their conversations, Martha soon discovered she had more in common with Sarah than diary writing. Though Davis lived in mainstream culture, an "English" person as the Amish say, like Sarah she grew up on a farm in rural Iowa during the 1950s and 1960s. Like Martha, Sarah had spent several years as a teacher. In Sarah's Seasons Martha Davis shares their common experiences and common interests - gardening, quilting, and cooking. Alongside Sarah's diary, Martha presents their shared recipes and conversations as well as reflections on her own more modern existence. Because of her friendship with Sarah, the author found a new sense of belonging to and purpose in the mainstream world. In the end, Sarah's diary becomes for Martha a meditation on time and community.… (more)

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