Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World

Book, 2013, 271 pp
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Little Shirley Hershey, named for a movie star, grew up with her nose pressed to the window of the glittering world. Three locations shaped her - a family farm, a country school, and Lititz Mennonite Church. She later became a college president and then a foundation executive, but the rosy-cheeked, barefoot farm girl never quite disappeared.

As Willa Cather said, "Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen." This childhood memoir tells the story of a girl who might have left the church but found another way.

"I promise: you will be transported," says Bill Moyers of this memoir. Part Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, part Growing Up Amish, and part Little House on the Prairie, this book evokes a lost time, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, when a sheltered little girl with big dreams entered a family and church caught up in the midst of the cultural changes of the 1950's and `60's. With gentle humour and clear-eyed affection the author, who grew up to become a college president, tells the story of her first encounters with the "glittering world" and her desire for "fancy" forbidden things she could see but not touch.

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