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Growing Up Amish: A Memoir

Average Rating 3.5
( 83 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Amish Must Read

I have always loved reading and hearing about the Amish life. There are several reasons for this. I grew upon a farm in Indiana. My parents became Christians when I was five. With no one to guide her in her walk, my mother decided it was better to err on God's side....
I have always loved reading and hearing about the Amish life. There are several reasons for this. I grew upon a farm in Indiana. My parents became Christians when I was five. With no one to guide her in her walk, my mother decided it was better to err on God's side. Board games, dancing of any kind, and most television shows became off limits or a sin. My books and comic books were scrutinized. My mom's first question whenever I told her about a new friend was, "Are they a Christian?" I had few friends growing up because they did not fit into my mom's "category" of what a Christian was. I worked on the farm just as the Amish do. When we moved to Florida I learned that what we called a garden the people down here called a truck patch or small farm. I learned how to can and freeze fruits and vegetables. We smoked our own meat. In the winter we filled a concrete tub in our 'milk house' up with snow and put perishables in it. It was a tough life yet one I miss.

It may be these memories that have always drawn me to Amish fiction. I can see so many parallels. I was thrilled to read Ira Wagler's book Growing Up Amish. In this book we get a look at the "real" Amish. Not the ones so often written about in romance novels, which make the Amish come across as a people who do, or think no wrong. We find a man who has struggled to find where he truly belongs. He wanted to be a part of the Amish world he was born into, yet felt it was not for him. At age 17 he left his Amish home in Iowa. He later returns, and must admit all of his sins to the congregation before he is allowed to join the church. He tries, but still doesn't seem to feel as if he is where he should be. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to once again make a decision to leave his Amish life. He subjected himself to this pain many times before leaving for good.

The pain of being shunned by everyone you know is hard enough. Their belief is if you left the church then your soul was headed for damnation. I was happy to learn that Ira finally asked God about his situation and got an answer. He found salvation outside of his Amish culture. Unfortunately it is not only the Amish that are like this. We see this in many denominations. They become so legalistic that it seems they forget what Jesus was all about. I thank God each and every day that his love for us is not based on a set of laws. We see where that got people in the old testament.

This book is a great look at the Amish. However, I believe the message I it is clear. We all need to take a look at our lives and ask if we are where God wants us. If not then maybe we need to talk with him to find out where he wants us to be. I do find it funny when I think about how they try to separate themselves from the English. When we get to heaven Go is not going to separate us, say, "You Baptist over there and You Amish over here. We who have found salvation through Jesus blood are all God's children and he has prepared a home for us in heaven, together.

This is a must read book for anyone who enjoys learning about the Amish.

posted by skstiles612 on September 4, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but a bit anti-climactic

I purchased this book and tore through it with great interest. It was an honest, open and heart felt account of the author's intense personal struggle of choosing one way of life over another. I empathized with him throughout the book and found myself far from envious...
I purchased this book and tore through it with great interest. It was an honest, open and heart felt account of the author's intense personal struggle of choosing one way of life over another. I empathized with him throughout the book and found myself far from envious of his predicament of having to choose between personal freedom to live his life as he chooses in the modern world, with all of it's excitement, danger and opportunity or the security of family and a faith tradition that was stable but contrary to what his heart told him was best for him. The reason I give it three stars is that unless I missed an important detail, I found it anti-climactic in the sense that there was no mention of what his relationship with his Amish family is now, which leaves the reader wondering if he's been all together shunned or if there is nominal familial contact (though there were hints in the book that make me tend to believe it's the latter). Enjoyable and insightful all the same and I definitely recommend it.

posted by TimInBrooklyn on August 12, 2011

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    I got restless....

    Im sorry to say that i found this book rather tedious. Author incessantly complaining and stating the same personal revelations again and again. When i bought the book i hoped for more on Amish culture, and i never expexted it to be a personal Christian testimonial. I didnt like the book because i expected what the preview provided, and will not recommend it for the same reason. amyjoe

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY

    Nook books are not returnable; that is the format in which I purchased.

    Don't waste your money!!!

    I just spent a good bit of time writing a review which this website promptly ERASED when I attempted to sign in.

    I cannot write another full review.

    But PLEASE do not waste your money on this book.

    Wagler's account is highly disorganized and meandering--like his life!

    He hastily added an inconclusive epilogue after SPRINTING to a would-be conclusion in a mere EIGHT pages of a 214-page book.

    He repeatedly admits how much of his childhood he can't remember. Now, if he can't remember the details of the very PREMISE of his book, why should I even read it???

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    A disappointment

    Im a huge fan of amish books but this one really disappointed me. To me it wasnt enjoyable at all to read. Maybe it was just the story itself that i didnt like, being it was the author telling the story of his rough life.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

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    Posted August 11, 2012

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    Posted August 2, 2011

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    Posted January 26, 2013

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    Posted November 7, 2011

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    Posted August 6, 2011

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