If you want to know what it is really like to be on both sides of the shunning then you need to read Beth's book: Plain Pursuit. Englischer (non-Amish person), Carley Marek is given a forced month's vacation from her job as a newspaper reporter in Houston, TX. So she decides to use it for her benefit and visit her friend turned Amish, Lillian Stoltzfus, in Paradise, PA. She would use the time to learn about the ways and life of the Plain People. Then she would write an article for the newspaper about her discoveries. She needed a reprieve, to rejuvenate and regroup her editor told her. She needed to get past her past troubles and move on. She needed to look ahead and not dwell on the past. Little did she know what lay ahead of her on this forced vacation. She was going to learn first hand what it really meant to be on both sides of the shunning. What little she knew of God she just couldn't see that shunning was what He would want from this community of people who, loved, cared for their own and pulled together in times of need. Was the Amish practice of shunning truly God's Will? Would she be able to challenge them to rethink some of their practices? Would she be able to influence them? It was so true that the simple life provided the people with nourishment of faith, hope and love, but she just couldn't fully understand the shunning practice. This community seemed to be filled with peace and goodwill. How could she get the people to see that God really doesn't approve of shunning? or Does He? What about unconditional love? God never turned His back on anyone! Can she get them to see this? I guess you'll just need to read Beth's book and find out. Beth draws the reader in from the first page to the last. This was definitely a hard to put down book for me. One I kept wanting to turn the page to see what will happen next. I highly recommend this book.
"Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become." -C.S. Lewis