The bakeshop by amy clipston
reviewed by Diane Lawton
This is a delightful story with a unique insight into Amish culture. Amy Clipston has written and published 42 books, loosely based around the Amish community.
In this work, The Bake Shop, she takes the reader into the heart of the home, where the main decisions about everyday matters are made by the father of the household. A place where women are ruled by domestic grit, a simple lifestyle, and their faith.
There are strict rules about who and what might contaminate their culture and these are cleverly slipped into the narrative without losing the beat of this engaging story.
The main character Christiana is unmarried and is attracted to Jeff, 28. He is her neighbor at the market, where they have booths selling home-made items. Why is the good-looking Jeff unmarried and why he has such a moody temperament?
They go through a number of trials and tribulations, the author cleverly building the tension of whether or not they will end up together. Christiana has to ask her father if she can date him and whether or not he will approve of her meeting his family. Everyone knows how strict her father is.
He discovers that Jeff uses electricity to burnish his leather crafts at the market and he stops her from having anything to do with him. Jeff has to come up with a solution or risk losing Christiana forever.
This was a good read and I was intrigued by the bakery goods that were mentioned in the text. Macadamia nut kichlin, whoppie and shoofly pies. I would love to have seen a recipe or two for the favourite pastries that were so popular at Christiana’s bakery booth.
It was slightly off-putting, to read the Amish words for everyday vocabulary like mother, father, and the various Amish greetings, but the writer has listed all these unusual terms at the beginning of the book.
The publishing house, Zondervan says they publish “… stories that inspire, illuminate, and transform. Stories that captivate the imagination, enlighten the mind, and strengthen the spirit”.
It was refreshing to be taken to a place of simplicity, of old fashioned values, where communities support each other and yet we still find couples struggling with the same angst that everyone else does.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.