On Account of My Accidental Doubleday Bookclub Membership …

 … about a week ago I wondered aloud over on Facebook, “how many Amish romance novelists there are exactly.”

 I don’t have an answer, but I just found out from one of my preferred blogs that the WSJ has taken note of the phenomenon.

And the pietist voice, it seems, needed to be heard on the issue:

Beth Graybill, director of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, said many Amish novels present a distorted, soap-opera version of Amish life. Outside authors exaggerate the wild activities during Rumspringa, the period when Amish teenagers experiment with technology and worldly distractions, from about the age of 16 until they decide to join the church or leave the community, Ms. Graybill said. Buggy accidents, and romances between Amish youngsters and outsiders, are also far less common than the books suggest, she said.

Yeah, make no mistake, Amish life is really as dull as you imagine it, way duller than its chaste romance novel version.  (Blog of Hilarity is less charitable.)

And so, why is there such a literature written by innumerable authors?  (A co-worker who’s into literature of the sort says they’re great, but it beats me why anyone would want to read romance novels in which the whole of their steaminess amounts to a single kiss every 100 pages or so.)

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