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Sarah's Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation


Sarah's Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation Cover

ISBN13: 9780877457428
ISBN10: 0877457425
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“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.

About the Author

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

Table of Contents


Foreword by Maxine Greene


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


Works Cited

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

lovingreader, January 30, 2007 (view all comments by lovingreader)
Of books about the Amish, this is a pretty good one. Sarah Fisher's diary tells us about her life in sparse but appealing sentences. We read about the garden, the kitchen, her babies, and her community, in about that order. Martha Davis, who has befriended Sarah Fisher, has included an introduction to each season, and gives us some valuable contextual information. I skimmed through this book quickly the first time, and thought it was a bit repetitious. However, after a few days I picked it up again, realizing that the daily details of a nonmechanized life could not be otherwise. In my second reading I enjoyed bouncing around in the entries looking for answers to such questions as "When must she have known she was pregnant? Did her life change? When did she start her seeds? When did she wean her baby? How do you MAKE bologna?
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Product Details

Davis, Martha Moore
University of Iowa Press
Christianity - Amish
Edition Description:
Bur Oak Book
Publication Date:
25 photos
8 x 5.5 x 0.7 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Women
Religion » Christianity » Amish, Mennonite, and Hutterite

Sarah's Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation New Trade Paper
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Product details 196 pages University of Iowa Press - English 9780877457428 Reviews:
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