Double Take by Melody Carlson
Published June 1, 2011
This was a cute book. That’s probably all I can say about it. It follows along the lines of the classic tale of Prince & the Pauper where they switch places and experience the other’s life. Double Take was essentially the same thing – a rich Manhattan girl switching with an Amish girl.
To be perfectly honest, this is supposed to be classified as a realistic fiction but I would like to say that this is unrealistic to the extreme. It would’ve been more realistic if the Amish girl was someone of a lower class. In what universe would a rich, spoiled Manhattan girl want to learn how to do laundry, wake up at the crack of dawn, learn how to clean the house, do the dishes and all the menial chores without technology and modern conveniences? It’s great that Madison wanted to experience the simple life but that would’ve easily been done with a normal girl with normal means instead of doing things the Amish way. It seemed completely unrealistic. Not to mention, the fact that they just randomly bumped into each other in this small town in Pennsylvania and realized, hey, we look alike, let’s switch places is just too farfetched for me. I mean, it was interesting to read more about the Amish way of life but that’s all I can say about that particular subject.
Out of the two main characters – Anna and Madison – I think I liked Madison best mainly because I think she matured the most. Stuff that she used to take for granted didn’t seem so easy to her anymore and she started to understand what it was that she wanted out of life. While she couldn’t incorporate all of the Amish ways into her life, she was at least willing to incorporate being in a quieter place and appreciating nature better. She also learned how to speak for herself and stood up to her parents, for once, on what she wanted out of her own life rather than what her parents expected from her. I could definitely appreciate that.
Anna, on the other hand, while growing up in a very simple life and appreciated everything on a deeper level, seemed a little…selfish and immature to me. This was primarily from the way how she viewed her aunt as fat and lazy even though she was doing her best to take care of her 4 children and a coming baby to boot. It was actually Madison, a mere stranger, who had to scold Anna for thinking of her aunt so harshly and she was also the one who rebuked the Amish neighbors to stop talking so badly about Aunt Rachel.
The secondary characters were just meh to me. They weren’t really that close to any of the main characters and seemed a little one-dimensional. I suppose they only played a small role in the grand scheme of the book and there really isn’t much to talk about.
Overall, the plot was just so unrealistic to me that it kind of put me off. Half of the time, I was so disbelieving with some of the plots in the book that I couldn’t fully take note of the other ongoings of the book. I guess this book would be better for a simple beach read since it’s mostly just fluff with little actual content in it.