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Friday, April 1, 2022


Anything But Simple

About the Book

Book: Anything But Simple

Author: Lucinda J. Miller (Last name now Kinsinger)

Genre: Memoir

Release date: July 25, 2017

AnythingButSimple for webPlain? Yes. Simple? Well…

If you live in a conservative Mennonite community, edges are sewn shut and questions have answers. So if you’ve got a saucy tongue and a roving curiosity about the world, you’ve got a story to tell.

As a schoolteacher in a small Mennonite school in rural Wisconsin, Lucinda J. Miller wears long dresses and a prayer covering. But she uses a cell phone and posts status updates on Facebook. So why would a young woman with access to all these technologies remain in a sheltered community like the Plain Mennonites? How can someone with an eye for beauty and a sometimes sardonic wit stay within a tradition that values discipline and submission and uniformity?

Anything But Simple is the stirring memoir of a young woman’s rich church tradition, lively family life, and longing for a meaningful future within her Mennonite faith.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Lucinda J Miller Kinsinger has always viewed herself as a shy little Mennonite girl, but refuses to let that stop her from pursuing what she loves—whether that’s writing with honesty and vulnerability or traveling to a remote village in China. In 2019, she married Ivan, the love of her life, and moved from the flat, tree-lined fields of her childhood home in Wisconsin to the rolling hills of Garrett County, Maryland. The couple has a baby daughter, Annalise. Since the publication of Anything but Simple, Lucinda has published a second memoir, Turtle Heart: Unlikely Friends with a Life-Changing Bond. She is columnist for Anabaptist World and blogs at


More from Lucinda

Me, and The People Who Shaped Me


My dad used to say that every person in your life is placed there by God for a reason. Even the ones you don’t like are there to teach you something.


If you don’t, God may send someone else to teach you the same lesson you couldn’t learn the first time around.

Anything But Simple is my story, the story of a shy little Mennonite girl growing up to be a writer and asking questions along the way. It is also the story of the many people who enriched my life.

My dad, with his black hair and handsome face and stories from his past.

My mom, with her smooth sweaters and her sure and solid love.

My bishop with his mouth that turned down like a turtle’s.

My creative writing professor who loved words in a way I had never seen in anyone but myself.





From these people and alongside these people I arose, breathing, questioning, earnest.

Our journey, like the journey of all the squiggly and intricate humans that wander the face of the earth, is anything but simple.


It is well known that many of us are curious about Mennonites. We have this perception that they are very strict in their beliefs, dress very plain and live close to each other in communities. An interesting topic I didn’t know about the Mennonite was that they don’t agree with the Amish about  shunning. The Amish are very strict in shunning whether  it be against modern technology or someone who has sinned against their standards.  Mennonite people don’t practice shunning and I was stunned to learn this.  I thought I knew enough about them that I considered them different and not very friendly. As I read this book, I wanted to have an open mind and see where I have misjudged them and what I could learn from the author. 

The first few pages of the book took me by surprise. I couldn’t believe what her father had stood in front of the congregation and shared. I never picture Mennonite people disobeying or even doing violence. Then I saw inside this man the pain of fighting against two worlds. I liked how he talked about respecting the church leaders even if we don’t agree with them. Oh what a lesson we can all learn from that statement. It is okay to disagree with our spiritual leaders, but God wants us to honor them. After all He placed them as authority over us. 

The author allows us a peek inside her life growing up and shares details that I was intrigued by. Her parents story about marrying and starting their lives together are interesting  to read about. They shaped their children in a home filled with love for others and God. The Mennonite choose their bishop in a way that makes sense but still seems different for me. 

I enjoyed reading the book and becoming more acquainted with someone who may live a life different than me but still have big dreams . Her desire to be an author was a hard journey at times but I appreciate her honesty and willingness to share her thoughts with us. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 2

A Reader’s Brain, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Inklings and notions, April 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 5

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 5

She Lives To Read, April 6

deb’s Book Review, April 7

A Melodious Sonnet, April 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 10

The Avid Reader, April 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 11

Rebecca Tews, April 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 12

Sodbuster Living, April 13

Boondock Ramblings, April 13

Vicky Sluiter, April 14

For Him and My Family, April 14

Spoken from the Heart, April 15


To celebrate her tour, Lucinda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Thank you for sharing, this sounds like a great book

  2. Thank you for sharing your review of Anything But Simple, this sounds like a good story and I am looking forward to reading it.

  3. Hi Deana, thank you for your honest review and for participating in Anything But Simple's blog tour! I really appreciated your perspective and it helps me learn too.

  4. I would love to read this book.