Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Review: Growing Up Amish

I felt a more appropriate name for “Growing Up Amish: A Memoir” would have been “Leaving the Amish: A Memoir”. I expected this memoir to be more about experiences as the author was a child, but I felt that instead he focused on the experience of trying to leave the Amish Church. Even so, it was an enjoyable read into the life of a culture that while they may live near me, I know little about them.


Ira Wagler was born in Canada as an Amish child. He recounts the moves, why they moved, and how the different Amish districts and bishops differed in what they allowed. The world was calling to him, and although he was afraid of what might happen if he left the Amish Church (meaning he would go to hell), the allure of the world beckoned.

He recounts tales of youthful reckless stunts and jobs across the western United States and into Canada.

He returns to the Amish Church. He gets baptized as a full member. His engagement is thought to be enough to settle him down. But it wasn't. He leaves. And returns. And leaves for good.

I appreciated he voiced his struggles. The Amish culture is all he knew growing up. Of course it has it's attractions, but so does the world with it's pick up trucks, radios, and blue jeans.

It may be considered another “Coming of Age” memoir, but this one is very different than any I've ever read. It is a good book, and I definitely enjoyed it.  It releases on July 1, 2011 and I encourage you to add it to your summer reading list.




FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed about it are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I will add that to my reading list. It sounds like an interesting book.

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