A fresh view into a life that is anything but simple.
What does the life of an Amish woman really look like? Over the course of a decade, author Judy Stavisky, a curious outsider, spent hundreds of hours getting to know the women of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County Amish community to find out the answer to this question. She joined mothers and grandmothers, unmarried women and teens, on their shopping excursions for household items, fabric, and groceries. They drove miles between undulating fields and shared hundreds of hours of conversation on everyday topics—laughing together about sneaking healthier entrees into their family’s evening meals, sharing concerns about their children, and trading family remedies for persistent coughs. As relationships evolved into enduring friendships, she grew to understand firsthand how Amish women bind their families and communities together.
In Plain View draws the reader inside a community governed by faith and separated by time, taking a closer look at the roles Amish women assume within their families and community, their fierce work ethic, and their camaraderie. Hundreds of years of shared traditions comes to life through a personal connection with Amish women, their own soft voices gently opening their world to an outsider.
“With respect and insight, Judy Stavisky takes readers into the everyday experiences of Amish women, from shopping at Costco and managing a schoolroom to choosing fabrics and preparing to host Sunday church. Stavisky has a remarkable eye for detail and a keen sense of what, amid all the activity, is truly significant. Some aspects of Amish life may be in plain view, but you’ll see them more clearly after reading this book.”STEVEN M. NOLT, interim director and senior scholar at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College and coauthor of Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
“From attending to home decor and shopping at Costco to preparing for church and Sunday evening singings, Judy Stavisky brings readers into the lives of Lancaster County Amish women, sharing confidences that reveal the heart of Amish life. ‘Simplicity brings satisfaction,’ one Lancaster Amish woman tells her, but as In Plain View makes clear, there’s little that is simple about the practical simplicity of Amish life. Having served as their driver, confidant, and friend, Stavisky skillfully and engagingly demonstrates that life spent balancing the needs of children, family, and church is far more complex than most non-Amish observers appreciate.”KAREN M. JOHNSON-WEINER, distinguished service professor emerita in the Anthropology Department at SUNY Potsdam and author of All about the Amish and The Lives of Amish Women
“Slip into the simple life in In Plain View, as Judy Stavisky shares her observations, wise and winsome, gleaned from driving Amish women on their everyday errands. Just ordinary women, yet to those of us on the outside, they live quite extraordinary lives. A lovely book.”SUZANNE WOODS FISHER, bestselling author of Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World
“Judy Stavisky does a remarkable job describing what it’s like for women who were born and raised and are living their lives within the Amish culture. The real-life stories and conversations that took place between Stavisky and her Amish friends will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice. Most importantly, the author will leave you with a deeper desire to live a more healthy and simple life.”JOE KEIM, author of My People, the Amish
“In Plain View grabbed hold of my attention and wouldn’t let go. A wonderful book! Anyone interested in the Amish is sure to enjoy reading it.”KATE LLOYD, bestselling author of A Lancaster Family Christmas
“In In Plain View, Judy Stavisky takes you behind the scenes of Amish life, revealing in intricate detail the whos, hows, whats, and whys of the Amish way. Through her special vantage point as a driver, acquaintance, and friend to Amish women, she provides an enlightening and entertaining look into life in the world’s largest Amish community. Definitely worth reading, even if you feel you know the Amish well.”ERIK WESNER, founder of the Amish America website and YouTube channel