Another trend to watch: Bonnet rippers
In a world where little girls dress like tarts for Halloween and all children seem to imagine that a Wii for Christmas is a God-given right, a description of kids playing quietly with handmade rag dolls during a three-hour church service would rouse any parent’s envy. And in a world where family life is a chaos punctuated by the constant ring of a text-message bell, the Amish emphasis on mealtimes and face-to-face interactions (not Facebook) taps into our collective desire for something saner: something more regulated, more communal, more conscientious.Read it all in Newsweek.
The most ardent fans of the Amish romances are evangelical Christian women who buy the books at Walmart. To them, the Amish represent more than simplicity. Evangelical Christians have among the highest divorce rates in the country; single Christian mothers are often their families’ main breadwinners. For these moms the Amish books are, literally, a fantasy: a picture of the perfect environment in which to raise Christian children. “My readers write to me and tell me they feel the family is fragmented in our society,” says Lewis. “They find such peace in the way Amish children are brought up. There are not many voices vying for the child’s attention. There’s no variance. There’s consistency, cohesiveness.” Lewis herself, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., is an evangelical Christian and a preacher’s daughter.
publishers are beginning to worry that the market is saturated. “We’re seeing Amish fiction splintering into everything imaginable: Shakers, Puritans,” says Steve Oates, marketing vice president for Bethany House, the Christian publisher whose author Beverly Lewis is the biggest name in Amish fiction. “We call it ‘bonnet fiction.’ You slap a bonnet on the cover and double the sales.”
In other news, the IRD believes the Mennonites are a threat.