Why Amish Romance Novels Are Hot!

Why Amish Romance Novels Are Hot

Ours is a hectic world and one that you would think wouldn’t really have much of an audience for Amish fiction, let alone Amish romance novels – but you’d be wrong. In fact, Amish romance novels are hot. Just a decade ago, the genre was in its infancy and new titles were rare, arriving on shelves at a rate of maybe one per year. Things have changed a lot in the last ten years, with half of the titles on the Christian fiction top 10 best sellers list being Amish related; and some of these books even made the mainstream best sellers list.

Why have Amish Christian romance writers managed to make such a splash in the world of publishing? There’s a very simple explanation. These novels appeal to readers who want to read romance, but would rather avoid the explicit language (and explicit sex) found in many mainstream titles. Amish romance novels are certainly not erotica, but they appeal to readers who want something more wholesome and family-centered. The best of these novels are incredibly well written, but at least until very recently, their audience was largely Christian women.

Maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise that Amish romance novels have become such a hit. We live in an age where the divorce rate seems to continually climb and real romance ever harder to find, which makes exploring Amish culture all the more appealing. On some level, many of us yearn for a simpler, quieter life. Of course, each reader brings their own experience and perceptions to these books and each has their own reasons for being attracted to Amish fiction.

Many fans of Amish fiction find the experience of reading these novels to be a sort of time travel to a time when the world was a calmer place and the family was the central social unit. Close-knit families and communities as symbolized by meals together around the kitchen table and a generally less hectic life are all things that modern readers find very enticing – and the rapidly growing sales of Amish romance novels are ample proof of this.

The Amish romance boom began with Beverly Lewis’ 1997 novel, “The Shunning,” which was the first installment in a trilogy. Since then, she has sold over 12 million books. It’s clear that this is more than a short lived trend. In fact, there are now mainstream authors who are starting to write in this genre, as well as long established authors like Joseph Yoder and Carrie Bender (both of whom were writing Amish fiction before Beverly Lewis).

We love our modern conveniences, but it’s nice to think about living in a world which is free of the cellphones, games and other distractions we now deal with on a daily basis. Reading Amish romance novels isn’t likely to make anyone decide to leave their life behind and join an Amish community, but these stories can provide something very important – an opportunity to reflect on the things that really matter to them.

A lot of readers like being able to get an up-close look at a culture which is very different from their own and despite the fact that most of the authors of Amish fiction are not Amish themselves, a lot of research and hard work has gone into making them as realistic as possible. Some authors work with Amish people as consultants as they write in order to ensure accuracy and a fair portrayal of Amish life; it’s also true that there are some things that the Amish are reluctant to discuss with the “English” (outsiders). There have been some negative reactions to these books by Amish leaders in Pennsylvania and Ohio, with some of the works being banned in certain communities.

Book retailers, particularly in portions of Ohio and Pennsylvania with large Amish populations, have reported thatAmish romance novels are hot and not just with tourists: even the locals are starting to take interest. Romance novels are universally popular, but their wholesomeness seems to have made them popular even among Amish readers.

While fiction in general is sometimes frowned upon by Amish church leaders as a distraction, most communities have no hard and fast rules against modern literature in general and a lot of Amish readers are undoubtedly interested in reading novels about their own communities. On the other hand, there are also those who feel that the genre cheapens their culture, even as some of their neighbors have become fans. No matter who you are, if you’re an avid reader, it may be time that you explored this fascinating world through the lens of a talented author. It can be a deeply rewarding experience which allows you to see the world in a different way.

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