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Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  591 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Two friends from different worlds—one Old Order Amish, one Englischer—share the truths that bring them together.
Best-selling novelist Cindy Woodsmall might seem to have little in common with Miriam Flaud, a woman immersed in the culture of Old Order Amish. But with nine children and almost 60 years of marriage between them, Cindy and Miriam both have found the secrets to
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by WaterBrook
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  591 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of Cindy Woodsmall’s Amish fiction since I was given her first book and that coupled with my fascination for the Amish led me to request “Plain Wisdom” to review.

My ancestors are thought to have come from “Amish blood”, (my great-great-grandmother is believed to be Pennsylvania Dutch) and I have picked up my interest in the Amish from my grandfather.

What I got from this book is so much more. Yes, I learned new things about the Amish, like they use processed food products like
May 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
After spending some time with these two women, at their invitation (as is printed on the front cover of this book) my final impression is that I'm just a bit disappointed. I'm sure these are both lovely women, and it might be interesting to sit and visit with them.

I didn't sense any "wisdom" - more just an expression of common sense, things learned through experience and a deep conviction of their Christianity. I know many people who could pen just such a book without much thought. There didn't
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Chicken Soup for the Soul- Amish style.
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Let me just say that I enjoyed this book way more than I ever expected to! When I first started reading it, I would read a couple of pages here, a couple there, and I didn't invest a lot of time with it in the very beginning. I finally decided to pick it up again a couple of days ago, and really allowed myself to enjoy it fully.

Well....the rest was history! In no time flat, it became nearly impossible to put down! I soaked up each chapter, and the wisdom contained within. Some chapters spoke to
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Yawn. After reading this book, I realize that the authors would probably remind me (in a very kind and non-assertive way) that such a review of their book is not very charitable of me. This is true. But it's also true that there's very little in this book to get excited about. For my LDS friends, you could easily consider this book Relief Society for the non-Mormon crowd. It focuses a lot on the universal sisterhood, on the role of wife and mother, and on neighborly love. It's mostly a collectio ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a heart warming collection of true stories told by two women from extremely different backgrounds and lifestyles. These two women share a special friendship.
Reading the book helped me to learn more about author Cindy Woodsmall and where her writing comes from. It, also, gave me a wonderful insight to the Amish community.
I feel that after reading this book, I have a better understanding of the Amish community and more respect for why they choose to live the way they do. It really is a won
Rose Ann
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to win this giveaway! What a wonderful treat!
I started reading this book, thinking it was going to be a continious story and would read in a timeline type manner.
It does not. They are small snippets of friendship/life.
I have always been intrigued by the Amish, and I love reading about the Amish way of life.

There are so many notes I have jotted down to myself, which I will add later, as I like to keep many details for browsing later. I suppose I could have ma
Most of us only know about the Amish through books and movies. 'Witness' was my introduction to the Amish. My first encounter with them came in August 1996. I was visiting my future husband's home town for the first time. I had been told there was an Amish community in the area. Still, I was stunned when I stood in the town's grocery store one day and observed a young Amish boy open the cooler in front of me and grab a Coke. The Amish drank Coke? In the 14 years since, I've become used to noddin ...more
Rachel Brand
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Initially I was really excited to read this book as I'm fascinated by the Amish, but in terms of tit-bits and trivia, there wasn't much included in this book that I didn't already know from word-of-mouth, novels and the occasional documentary. I ended up treating this book as a devotional and reading a chapter each morning, as I found that you couldn't read too much of this book all at once. Some sections provided some interesting reflections on life and God and made me consider how I could appl ...more
I felt that I was sitting around a table visiting with these ladies as I read this book. I laughed and cried with them as stories were told. Some stories brought me pause as I stopped to think about the truth of what was being said.

The book is sectioned into these topics: The Rhythm of Life; Timeless Beginnings;Challenges Great and Small; Laughter In Odd Places; Beautiful, Ashes, and Things Between; In His Hands; The Shapes of Tomorrow. Each topic has short chapters within. The chapters are quic
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to learn a little about themself
Shelves: reviewing-books
Before starting Plain Wisdom, I had read Cindy Woodsmall's first series and thoroughly enjoyed it. She has such a powerfully motivating voice in her words that have you eagerly reading each page constantly wondering what will happen next. When I saw this was an option for me from the WaterBrook Multnomah group, I jumped at the opportunity to read her in a nonfiction text. And boy, was I pleased that I chose this! Though I had a hard time starting it (I was reading a couple of other books at the ...more
Maureen Timerman
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-read
I really "Loved" this book. I felt like I was sitting down with two of my best friends. A very warm feeling of sharing with those who would understand our hurts and the Love of God. Two different world and yet not so different. It was a very hard book to put down, you become so absorbed in each of their lives!
I quickly turned and cheated and went through the yummy recipes! Know there are some new and great things coming from my stove and oven.

Two friends from different worlds—one Old Order Amish
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. We read it for our family book club awhile back but somehow I missed our meeting and missed reading it till now. It is a collection of stories and thoughts from the lives of two friends, one Amish the other not. I enjoyed learning more about the Amish. I really admire the value they place on family, community and God. I especially enjoyed learning how much singing means them. I had no idea and think that is wonderful. I really knew so little. I loved the connection I felt with ...more
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“Plain Wisdom, an Invitation Into and Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women,” by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud. These are the stories and musings of two unlikely friends, an Englisher and an Amish. Separated by more than just miles, they worked to forge a friendship and working partnership that few people would think could happen. They share insights into their friendship, families and their personal reflections on life.

I know I am not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I could not h
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
It’s written in “partnership” style; within each chapter, you will find an anecdote or moral from Cindy, an “Englischer” (the Amish term for a non-Amish person), and from Miriam, an Amish woman. It’s neat to see how often they have learned similar lessons through very different circumstances. God is sovereign over all! And remember – I typically shy away from fiction books, so real life anecdotes keep my attention much longer. It was like sitting down to coffee/tea with two new friends.

My favori
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book!
Two friends from different worlds—one Old Order Amish, one Englischer—share the truths that bring them together.

Best-selling novelist Cindy Woodsmall might seem to have little in common with Miriam Flaud, a woman immersed in the culture of Old Order Amish. But with nine children and almost 60 years of marriage between them, Cindy and Miriam both have found the secrets to facing life with strength and grace. Whether enduring financial setbacks, celebrating new babies an
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was delighted when this book was one of my choices to review. For over 2 years I have loved reading Amish fiction. This one was to be a bit different. An Amish woman and an "Englischer" coming together to write a book. I was already familiar and loved reading Cindy Woodsmall's books.

It was a joy to read the excerpts from Miriam about her life as an Amish person. I am fascinated by the way they live but could never give up all of my "gadgets."

It was interesting to read about Cindy's life and a
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Cindy Woodsmall, an Amish fiction writer, and Miriam Flaud, a member of the Old Order Amish, collaborated on this book about their friendship and their cultures. It's an interesting read, but not something I would recommend to anyone who isn't already interested in the Amish. I am taking away some thoughts though and share them below:

"I learned a lot that day about being soft-spoken but not silent, about responding calmly and yet saying all that needs to be said. And I learned that it takes only
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In this small book lies huge pieces of wisdom sprinkled among antidotes of family life and community. Cindy Woodsmall, and "Englisher", becomes close friends with Miriam Flaud of Old Order Amish. Together they share lessons they've learned through life.

As a teenager, I lived in a part of Pennsylvania where Amish buggies are as common as automobiles. I made a few friends a few Amish families, though they were not the Old Order Amish as Miriam is. In this book, Miriam tells what she has learned as
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the Amish. Not only do you read about Miriam's life but also learn about her perspective - in her own words - on interacting with Englischers, raising a family, and being a godly woman. And, when one of Miriam's stories is preceded or followed by a similar story from Cindy, it's fascinating to see how very similar many of their experiences are. At the same time, there are many differences in how each woman deals with each situation, a ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
by Cindy Woodsmall & Miriam Flaud
ISBN 978-0-307-45934-3

pages 224
This book is divided into about 50 devotionals and has recipes also.The devotionals have beautiful life lessons.It is not fiction it is part memoir and part devotional,literature and a how to book.It is very authentic feeling because Miriam is Old Order Amish.

She speaks honestly about the blessings and challenges of her days.Both women respect each others lifestyles and have learned from each other.

Cindy shares how she balances
Feb 08, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a lovely story told in turns by each of the two women, and I enjoyed it. It was a nice book. I was, probably not to my credit, a little disappointed that there didn't seem to be more meat to it. I know that was not their purpose, but I would like to have had a bit more substance. There was lots of wisdom taken from common life experiences, and that was nice. The friendship between Cindy and Miriam was genuine and, well, nice.

I was interested in how much modern convenience and old Amish
Lisa N
May 30, 2011 rated it liked it
This was an interesting little book coauthored by an Amish woman and her non-Amish friend. They share personal experiences, compare beliefs, and even throw in several fun, funky recipes, full of ingredients like Bisquick and Velveeta.

They explained how Amish couples get together, which I confess I have wondered about. It begins with rumschpringe, “running around,” which starts around the age of 16. Young people are given a lot of freedom to mingle, find a spouse, and decide if they want to join
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
My first thoughts about the book were disappointing because it was not at all what I expected. I expected to be reading an Amish novel just from two different perspectives. Boy was I surprised when I started reading this book. However once I realized what type of book I was reading I really enjoyed seeing both points of view on a lot of different things.

I enjoyed sitting alone reading bits here and there in between doing things. It is amazingly a fast read because of the short chapters and the f
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is on the UMW 2013 Reading List. I really enjoyed it, especially learning about the Old Order Amish ways of life--and the reasons behind some of them. At times it made me yearn for a far simpler life, without so many of our so-called "time savers". I wouldn't want to give up having a car or electricity, but realize there are some things that just clutter our lives. There are several recipes in the book also.

Some of the reviews I have read mention that the writing is choppy. I tend to a
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an engaging book cowritten by two Christian women, one Amish, and one every day American Christian. They take turns writing about their lives, their families, their faith, their hardships, and their friendship.

I was hoping to see a little more insight into Miriam's life, like a lot of people, I'm fascinated by the Amish because they lead lives so similar to our pioneer past. Naturally I respect their privacy, but I was disappointed that I didn't really "learn" anything about their lives,
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading about the similarities and differences between Miriam and Cindy. I found myself drawn into each of their stories, how they met, their lifestyles, children, husbands and extended families, especially to what life is like being Amish. I have read many fiction books and a few nonfiction about the Amish way of life but this book was so different, refreshing and enlightening. Loved all the different recipes provided by Miriam and have plans to try them all!! I hope that this ...more
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What things do an Old Order Amish woman and a modern American woman have in common? Amazingly, they have quite a bit in common!

This book is a series of short 'essays' on topics by Cindy Woodsmall and her Old Order Amish friend Miriam Flaud. Each woman gives us a window into her life on various subjects. At the beginning of each chapter Cindy explains some of the Amish ways and beliefs.

I found this book very endearing and easy to pick up at any time and read short segments when I had a few spare
Jennifer Jung
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It is a sweet, short read that I talk about often to others. I often see it recommended beside books that romanticize the Amish culture and it look as though it's advertised as an Amish-focused book, but that is definitely not what makes this book great.

This book fits perfectly into a genre I call "mom memoirs," and can be likened to the Chicken Soup for the Christian's Mom's Soul. I loved reading about the different experiences these moms learned from and how they related the
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads and I am glad that I read it. Though it wasn't one of my top ten books of the year, but it was definitely a book that I feel is worth reading. Up to the point of reading the author's notes I was planning to give this book 4 stars, but then I recognized something very important... This book was not written with the same purpose as most of the books I read and it was an excellent book for it's purpose! These women have openned up their lives in order t ...more
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Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written nineteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy's been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has ...more
“I had no more value after I became an author than when I was in my home tending to runny noses, little bumps and bruises. . . Our value can't be wrapped inside what others think or we think, because that is too dependent on this ever-shifting world. The value God places on us makes us more than we think we are, even on our hardest days, weeks, or years.” 5 likes
“(Never) judge a book by its cover or a woman by her kitchen.” 5 likes
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