Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother

Title:  Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother
Author: Marianne Jantzi
Publisher:  MennoMedia/ Herald Press
Release Date:  March 29, 2016
Genre: Amish Memoir


Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family's life on the snowy plains of Ontario.

The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God. 



I was out enjoying the great outdoors, thanks to National Parks Week, and I pulled Simple Pleasures, by Marianne Jantzi out to read a little.  (If you know me, you know I always have a book handy). As I'm sitting on a big boulder, facing the great Potomac River, with the beauty of the water, the trees and the wildlife before me, not to mention a beautiful Spring day, I'm holding onto this book and stared at the title and the little Amish girl on the cover.  Simple pleasures. So true.

"The new door does not have its own special alarm system, but it is solid with a tight latch...Sometimes I forget to be thankful for it, but not as often as I would if I hadn't put up with the ancient one.  I guess there's a reason we don't always get what we want right now." (24) 

Marianne Jantzi had quickly immersed me into her daily life, with the many instances that are more like memories or like I'm one of the recipients of the Amish family's circle letters. I'm reading her memories, her stories of her daily life with her family of four.  As a reader, Simple Pleasures, reminded me of all that we should be thankful for. Yes, we're reading an Amish mother's life and how they work and join in community, yet it also feels authentic and relevant in my life. It's about family, friends, health, sickness, adventures, trips, work, baking cookies, keeping the cold in, enjoying what life is, even with sadness, but always remember that there are many simple pleasures in this world, all blessings.  And that, my friends makes Simple Pleasure one pleasurable read.

"No matter what differences we have in privileges and talents, we are all given the great gift of time.  Sure, some have been given (or will be given) more time, but it really isn't important how much we have or will be given.  What counts, of course is what we do with it." (31) 

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity Tours for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.





Marianne Jantzi is an Amish writer and homemaker in Ontario, Canada. Formerly a teacher in an Amish school, Jantzi now educates and inspires through her "Northern Reflections" column for The Connection, a magazine directed mainly to Amish and plain communities across the U.S. and Canada. She and her husband have four young children and run a shoe store among the Milverton Amish settlement of Ontario.

Find out more about Marianne at





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