I am a longtime reader of science fiction - apocalyptic science fiction in particular. I enjoy seeing fictional characters attempt to survive "worst case scenario" events.
I also have an enduring fascination with the Amish (as well as other cultures whose ways are so unfamiliar to me). I have often supposed that groups like the Amish, whose lives are closer to nature, would be more able to survive an apocalyptic event, at least when compared to groups of technologically advanced 21st century people like me. Naturally I was excited to discover this book, unlike any other I've read before, the Amish apocalyptic science fiction novel, When the English Fall, opens a new window by David Williams.
The story is told by our main character, Jacob, who keeps a journal. In it he describes how his family and community live, and how they react when an astronomical disaster occurs. (Is it a massive solar flare? Jacob, at least, never fully explains). Unsurprisingly, the non-Amish people, referred by Jacob and his people as "the English," are immediately affected by the disaster, as nearly everything that requires electricity fails.
The Amish have a distinct focus on maintaining a plain and humble life, working together with family and community. Both individually and as a group, the Amish have made a conscious decision to live a simple life, working the land.
In stark contrast is the world of "the English," a lifestyle like mine of rushing-all-the-time, entirely accustomed to electricity and its countless modern conveniences. (Is it ironic that I used my smartphone to listen to the digital audiobook edition available from St. Tammany Parish Library via the eBook app Cloud Library, opens a new window?)
Read When the English Fall to find out if the Amish and the English are adequately prepared for the consequences of a cosmic disaster.
Author David Williams is a Presbyterian pastor who lives in Annandale, Virginia. When the English Fall is his first book.
Interested in reading more about Amish life? Here is a list of nonfiction items about Amish culture that you can find at the St. Tammany Parish Library:
If you enjoy reading fiction about the Amish, and you want to learn more about their culture, you may be interested in the following nonfiction titles. Some of these books are about individuals struggling to choose whether to remain Amish or to leave the Amish life. Others explain the day-to-day lives of the Amish, and some describe how the Amish maintain their way of life while living alongside the "English."