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Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler

Book description:

One fateful starless night, 17-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2 AM, left a scribbled note under his pillow, packed all of his earthly belongings into in a little black duffel bag, and walked away from his home in the Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa. Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life—from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26. Growing Up Amish is the true story of one man’s quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. Readers will laugh, cry, and be inspired by this charming yet poignant coming of age story set amidst the backdrop of one of the most enigmatic cultures in America today—the Old Order Amish.

My thoughts:

The Amish have intrigued me for years.

One day, years ago, I went on a tour with a group of people I was working with and for lunch we stopped to eat at an Amish families home.  They catered meals in their home for a source of income.  It was delicious!  I remember going to use their bathroom, and reaching for the light switch.  I giggled at myself because I knew they didn’t have electricity, but it was just my habit.  After leaving their home we all talked about their beliefs, and wondered more about their lifestyle.

Ira Wagler tells about his leaving his home in the Amish settlement, and returning over and over.  There are insights as to how they join the church, court (or date), work, and the ways different Amish sects have a different set of rules.

It is an open and honest account of the way Mr. Wagler struggled with the decision to join the Amish church, to stay in the Amish settlement, or to venture out into the world, as we know it.

When I found this book, I just knew it would shine a light on the Amish culture.  It did in a way, but it also left a lot for me to wonder about.   Don’t get me wrong, it is a very interesting read, but I will be reading more books on this subject to learn a little more.


2 Responses

  1. Sounds interesting, Julie. I think any closed society that’s so different from ours is fascinating.

  2. On Goodreads, I entered and comtest for a book about an Amish woman, dealing with lifes ups and downs. This book sounds very interesting, too. =D

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