I first encountered Sherry Gore's name when I ran across a reference to the magazine COOKING AND SUCH which at the time she helped publish. I learned that Sherry lived in Pinecraft, Florida, an Amish and Mennonite settlement in Sarasota. Photos of Pinecraft and writings of Sherry's that I found online told me this community was totally different that the Old Order Amish that live in our area of Wisconsin. When I found out that Sherry had authored a cookbook, I put the title on my Christmas list. While I liked the recipes (lots of pie recipes), I was more intrigued by the writings about live in Pinecraft that filled half the book. Ever since, I've followed Sherry on Facebook, listened to podcasts and television appearances she has made. I read her next cookbook SIMPLY DELICIOUS AMISH COOKING (yes I read cookbooks like novels). The more I learned about Sherry, the more I was intrigued. Clearly her Amish community was more liberal - she occasionally drove, she had her photos taken, and she appeared on television.
Eventually I learned that Sherry had CHOSEN to become Amish and belonged to a Beachy Amish Mennonite community. Drawing again on what I know about the Amish from our neighbors (Old Order Amish), I knew that they do not seek converts and having someone join is very, very rare. So when Zondervan published her new book which describes her journey from a world of California and Florida sun, rock and roll, parties and bleached hair to a life of simple clothes, head coverings and an old fashioned bike, I wanted to read the inside story. In a nutshell, Sherry shares how that California life was an empty one filled with flawed relationships, dead-end jobs, and even abuse. After the birth of her first two children, Gore knew she had to change her life, and in doing so, she found God. But Sherry felt that she needed more than a church; she needed the community of support found in the early Christian church and her search led her to Pinecraft, a place just minutes from her early days in Florida. This memoir does not go into her life as pie judge, cooking show host, or participant on the series Amish:Out of Order. I sort of wish the book had covered all that, but it focuses on the more important aspects of Gore's life -- why she needed to change, how God touched her heart, guided her struggles, gave her a new beginning, and has given her strength for her most difficult heartache --- watching her eldest daughter suffer from multiple incurable illnesses. Since finishing this book, Gore's daughter Jacinda has died. To people who already have "met" Sherry Gore, this book may answer many of their questions about her life. To readers who know nothing about her, they will be able to concentrate on the story of faith found. Then they can decide whether want to learn more about how she lives her daily life now. I received a copy of this title from BOOKLOOK for my honest review.