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Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among The Amish Joe Mackall

Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among The Amish

Joe Mackall

Published
ISBN : 9780739489680
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 About the Book 

Joe Mackall has lived surrounded by the Swartzentruber Amish community of Ashland County, Ohio, for over sixteen years. The Swartzentrubers live without gas, electricity, or indoor plumbing- without lights on their buggies or cushioned chairs inMoreJoe Mackall has lived surrounded by the Swartzentruber Amish community of Ashland County, Ohio, for over sixteen years. The Swartzentrubers live without gas, electricity, or indoor plumbing- without lights on their buggies or cushioned chairs in their homes- and without rumspringa, the recently popularized running-aroung time that some Amish sects allow their sixteen-year-olds. Over the years, Mackall has developed a steady relationship with the Shetler family (Samuel and Mary, their nine children, and their extended family). Plain Secrets tells the Shetlers story over these years, using their lives to paint a portrait of Swartzentruber Amish life and mores. During this time, Samuels nephew rejects the Amish way of life- his bright young daughter reaches the end of school for Amish children- and Samuel faces difficulties in his new role as a church leader. These and other stories from the life of the family reveal the larger questions posed by the Amish way of life. If the continued existence of the Amish in the midst of modern society asks us to consider the appeal of traditional, highly restrictive, and gendered religous communities, it also asks how we romanticize or condemn these communities-and why.