Are the Amish the new vampires?

34533962Forget Team Edward. Bring on Team Amos! According to an article today in The Wall Street Journal, readers are going buggy for a new literary genre: Amish romances, a.k.a. “bonnet books.”

It sounds crazy, right? I think not! In fact, it makes perfect sense that the genre would begin attracting fans. After all, there are more similarities than one would think between romances about the Amish and ever-popular vamp tales. Forbidden love, anyone? And like many YA bloodsucker novels, bonnet books are generally G-rated — making them attractive to parents and youngin’s alike — and penned mostly by women (who, interestingly enough, are not Amish themselves).

I have yet to read a bonnet book, but now I’m more than curious. Would you get drawn into stories of forbidden love in places like Lancaster County, Pa., Shelf Lifers? Or are you already addicted?

Comments (49 total) Add your comment
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  • Deborah

    i swear, everytime a book in mentioned on this site, it is ALWAYS compared to twilight. ALWAYS

    • Cindy

      Deborah: Yeah, they cover a lot of Twilight. But I also see posts on the blog about James Patterson and prize winners and literary fiction and graphic novels. Like, right below this post.

    • mikey

      One in every five books sold last year was a Twilight book. Like it or not, and I don’t, it’s socially relevant.

  • katiebabs

    Will they sparkle as they drive their horse and buggy around?

  • what to write?

    What should they be writing about? I think more info on best sellers or books that should be best sellers…new authors…old classics…

  • brody

    What America REALLY needs (sarcasm) is a book about Amish vampires! (Actually, I take back my sarcasm. That might actually be entertaining.)

    • Rebecca

      That was maybe my favorite post of the day. Someone should get on it immediately.

      • Amanda

        i have word open, and i’m getting started :)

      • amj


  • i like the amish

    i think i might check this book out, but like someone else said, i’m tired of lots of books being compared to twilight. how on earth is this amish book like twilight? this isn’t a very good article. i’d rather read about the amish than vampires.

  • Diana Laurence

    Brody, now I’m wishing I’d included an Amish vampire in my book. Maybe in the sequel?

    Diana Laurence (author of “How to Catch and Keep a Vampire”)

  • opalunderground

    Certainly these wouldn’t be popular among the youngin’s. Just look at Gossip Girl’s sustained popularity. But I’m sure the steamy romance becomes even steamier when there is no electric lighting at night. What else is there to do?

  • Kat

    Cultures of sexual repression have always been ripe for stories of romance. That’s why the Victorian age is so fascinating to our culture now, all the restraint & repression is practically exotic, unknown to us. In a society like the Amish, riddled with taboos, attempting to tell a story that leaves a white elephant in the center is an effective devices of storytelling (even when used by second-rate, tripe bodice-ripers – or rather – mutza suit ripers).

    • Ronnie Bray

      The sexual repression and restraint of the Victorian era is a fiction. What passed for R&R in that period was merely a public facade that belied what was happening behind closed doors.

      Victorian sexual repression and restraint is a dish prepared to divert the attention away from the facts of life that did not disappear behind the frills and frou-frous that hid the bare legs of pianos, china cabinets, and chairs.

      Check the birth-rates within and without of marriage and then ask yourself who was restrained and who repressed. there was a lot less of either than we have been led to imagine.

  • Gemma

    Exactly. And Twilight is a perfect example of this – what we are reading about is not the repressive nature of Vampires, but the sexually repressive culture of Mormonism the author, Stephanie Meyer, was raised in.

    • Ronnie Bray

      Someone wrote about Mormons being sexually repressed, sic: ” … the sexually repressive culture of Mormonism the author, Stephanie Meyer, was raised in”

      Mormonism is not sexually repressive. It is as if Gemma is saying that is people do not appreciate her taking a pee on the sidewalk outside her home, they must be “Urinarily repressed.” What a nonsense.

      Mormons are not repressed, but believe and are taught that chastity is Godly, and that sexuality is not for public display, and that sexual purity in bride and groom until they are legally married is a characteristic of high moral standards, in contrast to Gemma’s obvious liking for free and easy sex, when, where, and with whom she likes.

      Making a vice out of a virtue, as Gemma has done here, is an old trick that falls foul of its own clumsiness, and is easily detected as nothing more than a crude slam made by someone not altogether au fait with the subject on which they venture a vagrant opinion.

      Ronnie Bray – “In Praise of Virtue”

  • stephanie

    I work at a Publishing house and we are about to put out many new Amish fiction books over the next few months. Coincidentally enough I was just today arguing that the reason the Amish books are on the rise is for the same reason the vampire books hit so big- it’s forbidden romance. This article’s writer hit the nail on the head.

  • sauerkraut

    As a resident in the amish part of pennsyltucky, I have to laugh at this. Well, I would if the shunning of those who engage in forbidden love wasn’t so damn cold-hearted.

    Oh, and for those of youse who believe the amish are sexually repressed, let’s keep in mind that the average amish family has something like 6 – 8 children. The plain in buggies probably get it on more often than do the english in cars.

  • fat tony

    Vampires don’t really fall under “forbidden” romance. Dumb, yes – really dumb – but I don’t think there are any real laws against it. If any religions expressly forbid it, enlighten me.

    • Jennifer

      The Fellowship of the Sun

  • theprettyproject

    I could totally read these! :)

  • billfranke

    “Would you get drawn into stories of forbidden love in places like Lancaster County, Pa.”

    You gotta be kidding. I’d rather read about forbidden sex in a Shaker community. The Amish do not forbid love, by the way, nor do they forbid sex. The Shakers were a sexless community. The Amish population replenishes itself; the Shakers were unable to do this in principle.

    Forbidden love is, it seems to me, an inherently boring topic. It’s either a variation on the Romeo & Juliet theme, an injunction against same-sex relationships, a rant about incest, or a paean about the joys of what used to be called miscegenation. William Carlos Williams wrote a love poem to some plums:

    This Is Just To Say
    by William Carlos Williams

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    Love stories are for the lonely, the left-out, and the emotionally expansive but intellectually limited.

    Love stories about the Amish written by women who are not Amish are bound to be nothing more than bull-pucky and not worth the time spent wolfing down the words.

  • cshanks

    First thing that stands out about peoples misconceptions about Amish are#1 People (majority) know next to nothing about them. and #2 each Amish group is different in some large or small ways.Amish are not like Christian churches you can not make a profession and join.But their desire to be left alone does make them a target for this type of thing .

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