Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review: "Growing Up Amish" Memoir

Whenever I got to choose a research topic in school, I always gravitated toward the same subjects over and over again: Abraham Lincoln, Puerto Rico, George Eastman, the Amish. I was intrigued by the simplicity of life that the Amish lived and longed for more of it in my own life, as well.

I always wondered what it would be like to be Amish, hoping that my profession of journalism might grant me an opportunity to live life--even just temporarily--among the Amish.

While that has never happened, I have been able to get a closer look into the life of the plain people by Ira Wagler's memoir, Growing Up Amish. Indeed, Wagler did grow up Amish, but after two decades of wrestling with his peoples' ways, finally left the fold.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers and read it within days of starting. It was captivating as it drew me into his lifestyle and all the heartaches it wreaked for Wagler as he shares how he struggled with his desire to remain with the community he loved and his desire for freedom outside the faith's strict rules.

Wagler's first-person account peels away the facade of piety that we usually imagine when we think of the Amish. They are not perfect, and he showcases many instances that remind us that we are all human, even the Amish. Filled with raw emotion and honesty, Growing Up Amish is a riveting and heart-wrenching tale of life inside this close-knit group of believers.

(Read the first chapter of Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler.)

1 comment:

UK said...

The book told of a young mans journey growing up amish and leaving the church many times. However, as he seemed to never connect to his family or friends in any way he also fails to connect to the readers as well. You never get a true look inside to daily life and what it is that led him to want to leave. Without these explanation he simply seemed like another whiny teenager who thinks he knows it all.

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