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A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World

Author: Shirley Hershey Showalter
Product Code: 9626
ISBN: 9780836196269
Pages: 309
Binding Information: Paperback
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 inches

Publication Date: 9/19/2013

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"I promise: you will be transported," says Bill Moyers of this memoir. Part Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, part Growing Up Amish, and part Little House on the Prairie, this book evokes a lost time, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, when a sheltered little girl named after Shirley Temple entered a family and church caught up in the midst of the cultural changes of the 1950's and '60's. With gentle humor and clear-eyed affection the author, who grew up to become a college president, tells the story of her first encounters with the "glittering world" and her desire for "fancy" forbidden things she could see but not touch.

The reader enters a plain Mennonite Church building, walks through the meadow, makes sweet and sour feasts in the kitchen and watches the little girl grow up. Along the way, five other children enter the family, one baby sister dies, the family moves to the "home place." The major decisions, whether to join the church, and whether to leave home and become the first person in her family to attend college, will have the reader rooting for the girl to break a new path. In the tradition of Jill Ker Conway's The Road to Coorain, this book details the formation of a future leader who does not yet know she's being prepared to stand up to power and to find her own voice.

The book contains many illustrations and resources, including recipes, a map, and an epilogue about why the author is still Mennonite. Topics covered include the death of a child, Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, the role of bishops in the Mennonite church, the paradoxes of plain life (including fancy cars and the practice of growing tobacco). The drama of passing on the family farm and Mennonite romance and courtship, as the author prepares to leave home for college, create the final challenges of the book.

Table of Contents
The Author

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"She's a smart, sweetly blushing, baseball-loving, convertible-driving, taking-on-the-bishop kind of girl who delights and inspires." -Dora Dueck, award-winning author of This Hidden Thing and What You Get at Home

"Reading Blush is like standing in a bright meadow and watching the world move around you as you move through it. I promise: you will be transported." -- Bill Moyers, bestselling author and journalist

"The author-memoirist describes growing up Mennonite; her story affords glimpses into this religion's traditions and rituals. This memoir will interest readers who want to learn about growing up Mennonite." --Publishers Weekly

"So if you are interested in learning something about the varieties of human life that can still be found in an America where so much has been flattened into tedious homogeneity by mass media and mass culture, read this book. It will introduce you to one of those "worlds within the world" that reassures us of the continuing human capacity to march to the beat of a different drummer." --Parker Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak

"Your mouth will water at all the delicious recipes, and some of you will want to return to the other world not only of a culture, but the fifties, the simple, plain lives of ordinary people who weave the soul of a country." ---Linda Joy Myers, President, The National Association of Memoir Writers and author of Don't Call Me Mother and The Power of Memoir

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