I recently mentioned to a coworker that I was going to write a post about Amish fiction. His response to me, “Oh, you mean bonnet fiction?” I have to confess I have never heard of the term but in doing some research, this term has been used in the publishing industry since 2009. Bonnet fiction is primarily fiction books written with Amish characters and typically have a romantic theme. Through Amish fiction, the authors give the readers a feel of what it’s like to live the Amish life along with the technological differences associated with that lifestyle.
The author who is most often thought of when you mention Amish fiction is Beverly Lewis. Most of her stories take place in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Two of her books have been made into television movies. The Postcard is one of the older titles that we have in our collection. Rachel Yoder, a recent widower, meets Philip Bradley, a journalist from New York. They set out on a journey after finding a postcard.
Another author who writes Amish fiction is Wanda Brunstetter. She has written quite a few Amish books. A Cousin’s Prayer tells the story of Katie Miller who loses her boyfriend in a car accident. She becomes depressed and meets Freeman Bontrager who wants to be near Katie. He falls for her and wants to make her gain his trust and finally his love.
Beth Wiseman is another author who has written a lot of Amish books. In Plain Promise, Sadie, an Amish widow, works at her family’s store selling goods to tourists. She decides that she needs more income and decides to rent out her cottage. Kade, a single father, decides to rent the cottage to get out of the hustle and bustle of his world. Through the cold winter, Kade and Sadie begin a friendship which concerns the rest of the Amish community.
There is even a local author who writes Amish fiction. His name is Dale Cramer and his stories reflect his family’s history. His grandfather was Amish and lived in Ohio but, because of the enforced school rules, decided to move to Mexico to be able to have their own schools. Levi’s Will is one of the stories that tells the story. Mr. Cramer researched this story and community and at the end of his stories lists his sources for the reader to learn more about this interesting community.
Amish fiction is hot and there are a variety of authors who are trying their hands at this genre. To find some more authors, try searching the catalog under the subject heading Amish fiction. There you will find a variety of authors including Barbara Cameron, Kathryn Cushman and Leslie Gould.
Finally, do you want to learn more about the old order Anabaptist that include the Amish? On the Background to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish and Brethern takes each group and explains their origins and beliefs. It helped me understand that many of the things described in the Amish fiction are in fact what the Amish community experience in their daily lives.