Sarah's Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation

Overview

“Have you ever kept a diary?” With that question author Martha Davis sets out on her journey into the quietly remarkable life of an Old Order Amish woman know to us as Sarah Fisher. Sarah not only kept a diary but welcomed Martha to read it and to view the world through her eyes. The even, peaceful tenor of Sarah's diary entries and the closeness to nature of her life and work will make readers question the pace and values of their own lives, and the degree of social interconnectedness in Sarah's world will offer a model for many of us outside ...

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Sarah's Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation

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Overview

“Have you ever kept a diary?” With that question author Martha Davis sets out on her journey into the quietly remarkable life of an Old Order Amish woman know to us as Sarah Fisher. Sarah not only kept a diary but welcomed Martha to read it and to view the world through her eyes. The even, peaceful tenor of Sarah's diary entries and the closeness to nature of her life and work will make readers question the pace and values of their own lives, and the degree of social interconnectedness in Sarah's world will offer a model for many of us outside it.

Sarah'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 the 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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877455967
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Bur Oak Original Series
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Davis is a high school English teacher who lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS Foreword by Maxine Greene Acknowledgments
1.Coming to Know Sarah January and February
2. Sarah the Teacher: Mother and Guide March and April
3. Sarah the Quilter: The Season of Quilting May, June, July, and August
4. Sarah the Gardener: The Season of Growing September and October
5. Sarah the Entrepreneur: The Fisher Kitchens November and December
6. Sarah the Writer: Circle Letters and Poetry Afterword Works Cited

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Interesting

    Very interesting read. The message was very apparent and the elaboration was excellent. All points were made clearly and the narration was impeccable and added to the story. The comparisons were amazing and extremely relatable. I could tell you have studied the rhetorical triangle a lot. The execution was PERFECT. Great intellectual read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2007

    An intimate glimpse of an Amish Woman's life

    Many of us find the life of the Amish fascinating. This book gives a wonderful look into the seasons of a real Amish woman's life through the diaries she kept for two years. The author, an 'English' woman, who became her friend, edited the diary entries and made comparisons with her own life. A simple but lovely book.

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