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Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Quick-read that I really enjoyed.

    Quick-read that I really enjoyed.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    "one little deed done in time is worth more than a thousand good intentions"

    I read lots of books and usually I enjoy a good story, it dosn't matter if its fact or fiction current, past or future. This book was a bit different, it reads in small bites on lots of differnt topics. I think it would almost be better suited for a coffee table, or bathroom book. Where it could be picked up, thumbed through and read in bits and pieces. There is a lot of "plain wisdom" between the covers of this book. I enjoyed reading it, but I kept hoping for more of a story, something to really connect the chapters. Instead I could have read it in almost any order and still enjoyed each chapter by itself. I found the recipes to be fun, I have already tried several and hope to try out a few more in the next few weeks, that was a nice addition to the book. I'm really excited to have the recipe for amish friendship bread and the starter to get it going. I found it very amusing that Cindy, while doing research for one of her other books, chose to take a trip to Alliance, Ohio. I lived there for several years, her description was spot on. She describes what she found as she stepped of a train in Alliance in the middle of the night in winter. " The night sky swirled with snow, but the think white blanket couldn't hide the eeriness of the run-down, abandoned building. A white and blue sign near the tracks indicated a pay phone. Snow and gravel crunched under my feet as I walked tward the sign. The wind whipped my coat as if it wasn't there. I reached the sign but didn't find a phone, as I stood at that bleak, desolate depot. " I would like to let Cindy know that now there is a cab company in Alliance. In another chapter Miriam talks about how a friend of hers became ill and she vowed to herself to remain in contact with her friend and help her through. But life got in the way and she became busy, her friend became even more ill and she had missed her chance to stay in touch. She remembers a saying from her childhood "One litle deed done in time is worth more than a thousand good intentions" I LOVE that saying! I've shared it with my children and remember it daily. Overall this was a good book, I will share it with family and friends as their lives need some plain wisdom. It isn't a story, its a collection of experiance lived by 2 women and shared with us on these pages. There is a lot to learn and a lot to enjoy. "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review".

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Awesome book!

    I've had an interest in the Amish lifestyle ever since I first learned of the Amish. Reading Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud's book *Plain Wisdom* was like stepping into the kitchen and sitting at the table listening to them talk,sharing their story. This book shows that friendship can cross cultural barriers. And isn't that what God wants us do-to step out of our comfort zone and reach out to others. An inspiring read!
    I received this book for review from Waterbrook Multomah.

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  • Posted May 26, 2011

    Very Interesting

    In Plain Wisdom author Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud, a member of the Old Order Amish community, share stories of their lives and their friendship. Each chapter has a title and Bible verse that correspond to a short story or writing from both authors. The sections by Woodsmall revolve around her friendship with Flaud as well as family stories, while Flaud's portion of each chapter provides insight about life in an Old Order Amish community. Some of the chapters also include mouth-watering recipes.
    Lately I find myself interested in learning more about the Amish community and this book definitely provided me with interesting information. Everything from marriage to church to quilting is discussed in this book. I've not yet read any of Woodsmall's Amish fiction novels, but I can't wait to get my hands on some and see how she has put her research to work in her writing. This was a quick and interesting read.

    Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sharing wisdom and encouragement

    Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud are very different. Cindy is a New York Times best-selling author. Miriam Flaud is an Old Order Amish woman. And yet, they are both wives, and mothers with dreams and a love for the Lord. Cindy and Miriam have developed a friendship and have joined to write this book. In Plain Wisdom, they have invited the readers into their lives - what they have experienced, what they have learned, what they enjoy, how they have hurt.

    Honestly, it was wonderful and wanting at the same time. I enjoyed learning about the Old Order Amish's lifestyle. However, the true treasure of the book was the advice and words of wisdom that were shared by both women. That was truly a blessing! I am still adjusting from a move away from family and community of support, so it was great to have older, wiser women to "talk" to! Also, I look forward to trying some of the recipes. But somehow it didn't feel complete, like there could have been more. Maybe that was just because I wanted more from them?! However, now I need to begin, as they said in the book, "asking God to open doors" for me to find an older, wiser woman that would like to be my friend.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books, Waterbrook Multnomah Publisher's book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Interesting Read...

    I mentioned in a previous blog post that I was reading a little Amish fiction, so when Waterbrook Press and Blogging for Books asked me to review Plain Wisdom, I jumped at the chance. Plain Wisdom is not a fictional story however. It is a series of anecdotes from two women: one Amish (Miriam Flaud), one an Englisher (Cindy Woodsmall). Each chapter/section deals with a different theme or life lesson, and the reader is able to hear from two women who are very different, yet incredibly similar. The topics range from finding peace in life to work ethic, to death and loss. Each chapter begins with a Bible verse and the bonus is that there are some great Amish recipes inside. I really enjoyed this book not only because of the short quick snippets that read almost like a devotional, but the intersection of these two cultures was fascinating as well. Woodsmall spent a period of time at the Flaud home in order to really understand how an Amish home works. In fact, Flad wrote her part of the manuscript in longhand due to not believing in the use of computers. This book renews my faith in the simple things of life and encourages me that less really is more. This book will encourage your spirit along the way. A very good read! To hear from Cindy Woodsmall about this book, watch here:

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    Understanding and respect can bridge the doctrinal differences in Christianity

    In this very interesting book about the friendship between two very different women, we see that mutual respect and love can bridge many distances. The Amish naturally have to rely on God's rhythm for their lives, the rhythm of the day, the season, of life. Cindy struggles with too much work, too all-consumed by work, and a 24 hour day. She found that she had missed years of her life by trying to juggle too much. She only discovered this after staying at her friend, Miriam's, house.

    Many of the stories were very touching. Sometimes the story told by Cindy Woodsmall was more touching. Sometime the parallel story told by Miriam Flaud was more touching. Each story held some sort of moral, and each chapter began with a scripture. Through the parallel writings of Mrs. Woodsmall, who was formerly a homeschooling mom and is currently a writer, and those of Mrs. Flaud, who has always lived as a "Plain" person, an old order Amish, we begin to see how very much Christianity has in common and how little, really, there is about which to argue. Perhaps if we could get past our preconceived notions and set aside our doctrinal differences, we would all begin to see the common threads we have in Christianity.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation for this review. Thank you, WaterBrook Multnomah for the opportunity to read this enjoyable book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    Plain Wisdom

    Plain Wisdom by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud turned out to be a great read. Miriam has grown up as an Old Order Amish woman and Cindy has not. These two women live completely different lives and hold very different responsibilities. Since Cindy is an author of Amish novels, she meets up and befriends Miriam for a closer inside look. Flipping through the short chapters of this book, you get a close insight into the many similarities that one would not realize otherwise. While so much in each of their lives are completely opposite of each other, the love of their families and God are what really prove to be the foundation that holds them together as friends.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    Wonderful, Easy Fascinating Read!

    I was given the opportunity to review an advanced reading copy of Plain Wisdom by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud. I chose the book because I am fascinated by the Amish way of life and hoped that I would be able to glean some insight into a cloistered world. I was not disappointed! What was eaqually fascinating to me were the shared perspectives of both a modern woman and an Amish woman, and how their lives have become intertwined. The book is well written, and such an easy read. The chapters are short and each topic is covered from both Cindy and Miriam's perspectives. Some of the stories are funny, some are sad, but all are heartwarming! The sincerity and faith of both women rings true though out the pages and kept me interested all the way to the end. A discussion guide is included if you would like to use this book in a group setting. As a bonus there are nineteen authentic Amish recipes included in the book. If you enjoy cooking, you will find recipes for Amish Friendship Bread, Chocolate Coffee Cake, Egg Custard, Shoofly Pie, and Blueberry French Toast - just to name a few! I must admit that I have not read any of Cindy Woodsmall's fiction novels, but after reading Plain Wisdom they are moving to the top of my must read list!

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    Wonderful, charming read!

    Although unlike any of Cindy Woodsmall's other books, Plain Wisdom has the same charm and readability. The relationship between Old Order Amish-woman, Miriam Flaud, and book writer, Cindy Woodsmall gives this book depth and character. You can see their relationship and comfort growing throughout the book.

    Story after story, you learn just a little more about both women. With different upbringings, backgrounds, and histories, the combination of stories from each woman makes for a life-giving tale to warm your heart.

    The emphasis on friendship is a key part of the book. With each chapter, Cindy and Miriam highlight the importance of friends and the roles they play in life. Though it all, they name God a friend who has brought them to where they are today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2011

    Loved it!

    When I decided to review this book, I wasn't thrilled! I LOVE novels that are written about the Amish way of life, but I was afraid this may be more like a self help, or like a "documentary" for lack of a better word. Boy, was I wrong! This book is packed full of stories from the lives of author, Cindy Woodsmall and her Old Order Amish friend Miriam Flaud. Plain Wisdom teaches tolerance and acceptance of people, regardless of the differences we see on the outside. As the authors reminisce on treasured memories they share wonderful recipes and nuggets of wisdom to ponder. Even though their lifestyles are so very different these two ladies have come to care a great deal for one another. Their love is apparent in each chapter of this book.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

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  • Posted February 17, 2011

    Great Book

    I loved this book from the moment I first opened it. I enjoyed the honest and open look into the lives of these two women. I found it to be so encouraging to read about their personal struggles with issues we have all faced at one time or another. the friendship these two women have developed is wonderful. It really just goes to show that no matter what background we have we can all still fellowship in the Christ who saved us and the God who created us. We can't let our differences keep us from serving together in the name of the Lord. I encourage you to check out this great book.
    This book was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion and review by Waterbrook Multnomah

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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