Saturday, July 23, 2016

House Calls and Hitching Posts








House Calls and Hitching Posts
Stories from Dr. Elton Lehman's career among the Amish
as told to Dorcas Sharp Hoover
Published by Good Books, 2004


I found out  about this book by accident; when browsing for a related book on an internet site, this popped up as a suggestion, and I am so glad that I did buy it!

Dr Elton Lehman was from a Swiss Mennonite background himself, and shortly after qualifying, he and his wife Phyllis made their home  and his general medical practice in the small town of  Mount Eaton, Wayne County, Ohio in the 1960s. They were soon to count many Amish among their patients and later their friends, and this is a dignified, affectionate and fascinating account of the life and work of this remarkable and devoted physician - and of his long-suffering wife and family. 

Dealing with amputated fingers, impalings, traffic and farm accidents, broken bones and serious  illnesses, as well as assisting at the births of many, many babies (6, 300 by the time he retired in 1993) kept him constantly busy and later he was to become assistant coroner for the area too, which was the least enjoyable - but still important - part of his work. He also helped to make medical history when one of his patients proved to have an incredibly rare blood group, which nearly cost her her life.

His constant love and concern for the well-being of his Amish patients greatly endeared him to them, and he was determined to do everything he could to help them maintain their Plain lifestyle, caring for them from cradle to grave.  On a few very sad occasions, he saved lives only to see them snatched away again a few years later, and his own deep  Christian faith as well as that of the Amish families helped them all to come to terms with their losses.

This certainly ranks as one of my favourite books about the Amish *and* about traditional doctoring. It is very good to know that Dr Lehman's son, Brent, has followed in his father's footsteps and continues to serve the people of the area.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Dare To Be Different!


This is why I try not to review the more "mainstream" books, 
mainly because everyone else is reading and reviewing them :-)

I like to read quirky, unusual and interesting things, 
and this is how I can end up reviewing both pacifist Amish books
 and SAS army fiction in the space of a very few weeks of each other!

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Teacher Misery



Teacher Misery 
By Jane Morris
Truth Be Told Publishing, May 2016


Exactly what it says on the cover: a collection of real-life anecdotes about events endured by a new teacher and her colleagues. Hilarious in a few places, terrifying and utterly, utterly appalling in equal measure in others, it is enough to make any responsible parent think twice about putting their child through mainstream schooling in the USA. If you are a responsible, thoughtful, caring parent, the events in this book will be of concern to you.

I simply cannot imagine any halfway decent parent complaining that their child has not actually broken any published school rules by being stark naked and having sexual intercourse on a school staircase, but I can certainly believe that some parents would think their child was being unfairly picked on for such behaviour. The apple rarely falls far from the tree, after all. On the other hand are the obsessive, manipulative and highly ambitious helicopter parents, who make their children just as miserable as the parents who do not care about what happens to their children.

 Drug dealing, aggression, poor hygiene, vile language and activities, sexual activity, overdoses and majorly psychotic behaviour on the part of some youngsters feature in the book, so reader beware.
Needless to say, the author's name is a nom de plume to protect both herself and her job, (and the names of all the persons involved have been changed) but despite everything, she has gritted her teeth and carried on teaching, helping youngsters to the best of her ability - whether they want it or not, and with or without the support of their parents.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Simple Pleasures



Simple Pleasures
By Marianne Jantzi
Published 29 March 2016 by Herald Press.

The writer is a Canadian columnist for "Connection" magazine, widely read by Plain folk, and the stories she shares with us abut her family life and community life are very readable and enjoyable vignettes. From her daily life as a busy wife and mother to four young children, to tending her garden, raising chickens and running a shoe business, she shows many different aspects of Amish life in general and Canadian Amish in detail. Underpinning everything is her deep faith and desire to honour God by living an authentically Christian, honest and ethical life.

This is a book for dipping into and reading a small portion at a time rather than reading right through; the vignettes are individually very enjoyable but did not really flow well enough for me to read large chunks in one sitting. Just like the Amish, this is a book written simply, plainly and from the heart.


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Monday, July 11, 2016

Catching Up

It's been an action-packed few weeks here, what with the run-up to the Referendum over whether or not Britain should leave the EU, then the aftermath of the Referendum vote and then the centenary commemorations of the Battle of the Somme.

Lots of WW1 book have been devoured.

Normal book-reviewing will resume soon :-)

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