THE DISTELFINK COUNTRY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH by Mildred Jordan

THE DISTELFINK COUNTRY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Vy shuah, the Pennsylvania Dutch are really Deutsch, and Jordan, who's lived among them for 50 years or more, is delightfully, affectionately versed in the foods, songs, superstitions, and folklore that go with their tenaciously religious and rustic ways. The austerity of the black-garbed Amish who shun ""de electric"" and schooling past the three R's is the exception even among the ""Plain sects"" (Mennonites, Schwenkfelders, Moravians, and the Brethren), and the ""gay people"" including Lutherans (!) and German Reformed sects predominate around Reading, Lancashire, and York where these diligent, moral farming folk have lived ever since Wm. Penn sold them land at 10¢ an acre. Herself an auslander who ""married in, Jordan has a story, generally humorous, to illustrate every trait from thrift (one friend kept a box labeled ""pieces of string too short to use"") to the mania for hard work and fear of that dread malady ""Lazie Fevre."" ""I aim to be comprehensive like the farm meal,"" says Jordan, and indeed she is, supplying everything from a recipe for Shoofly Pie to observations on falsetto hymn singing, neighborliness, and the Dutch love of color and ornamentation (including the distelfink itself) which turned simple rural furniture into now prized antiques. Nostalgia and an abundance of sentiment frequently overtake Jordan, as they will the reader--it's enlightening and endearing.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1978
Publisher: Crown