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From Plain to Plane: My Mennonite Childhood, A National Scandal, and an Unconventional Soar to Freedom

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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Patty Bear grew up among the "Plain People" amidst bountiful farmlands, black bonnets, and black cars. It was a world unto itself, both bucolic and beastly, with traditions and beliefs from the old world deeply rooted in the fertile soil of Central Pennsylvania.

Insulated by a culture that steadfastly kept its distance from outsiders and the march of progress, as a little g
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Paperback, 408 pages
Published February 23rd 2021 by Barnstormers Press
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jessica
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Solid 4.5⭐️ || Whether you are familiar with Mennonite communities or not, this is quite interesting! Plenty of universal themes here just waiting for #bookclub discussions. Memoirs are definitely one of my favorite genres for this reason — relatability. ((And of course for those of us who know the author personally, this was an amazing window in to so much I don’t know.))
Byron Edgington
Mar 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Here we have a story of one woman's escape from a fanatical father, the circumscribed life he demanded of her, and the simple life of the ‘Plain people.’ Once Ms Bear frees herself of the constraints of her childhood, and navigates away from crushing self-doubt, she rises to the pinnacle of achievement.
Reminiscent of Tara Westover's 'Educated,' Ms Bear's book takes us behind the scenes of an often violent and disruptive childhood, to her triumph after many harsh realizations, and finally her un
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Stacey Aaronson
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever wondered what it's like to grow up in a cloistered sect—in this case, Reformed Mennonite—this book honestly and vividly details both the "bucolic and beastly" aspects, as the author so perfectly describes on the back cover. But while it is a unique coming-of-age tale that allows us a front-row seat to growing up "IN the world but not OF the world," this memoir is so much more than that. Although Patty is heavily conditioned with the dogma that women are inferior and that theirs is ...more
Gmr
Mar 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Patty Bear let's us inside her world, from childhood to present times, with an uncensored look at all that transpired. From the weird to the wonderful, the traditions to the tragedies, the blessed events to the shunning both inside and outside their beliefs, we see a family from both sides of their faith. Torn apart by one man's tirade against a church, held together by the blood that ran through their veins, it was hard being a witness at times to some of his actions, the reactions, and games. ...more
Julie Peterson
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. When she brilliantly described the farm and the meadows I could envision everything in my head and almost smell the flowers. Thank goodness the kids had each other to lean on. What a trial they all went thru. I could feel their pain, embarrassment, humiliation etc. It was reeling. The research that had to of been done by the author must have been very time consuming. Putting all the pieces together chronologically. The accomplishments of the author and her success ...more
Melanie Springer Mock
Mar 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
From Plain to Plane is a fascinating memoir because of the trajectory Patty Bear’s life takes, but also the abuse her family experienced at the hands of her father, and the media (and court's) willingness to look the other way, all in the name of "freedom of religion." Her story is an important reminder that those with power and privilege can often control a narrative, and that justice is best served when voices who have been oppressed--like Gale Bear and her children—also have a chance to speak ...more
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