Friday, June 17, 2011

Growing Up Amish ~ a compelling read

When I was a young girl, I checked out biographies by the stack, laid across my bed and read my summer days away.  When I was in my early twenties, I read through the published diaries and letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Since that time, my taste has shifted more to prefering fiction titles.  Then, I read Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler.  I have read many fictional accounts of Amish life, all of which have been written by women.  Most of those women had a least some real connection to people of
 Mennonite or Amish backgrounds, lending credibility to the accounts. 
Never have I read a like book from a male perspective. 

This non-fiction story is an autobiographical telling of Wagler's childhood up until his mid-twenties.  He recounts details of Old Order Amish life and many challenges he faced.  This work was both compelling and provocative.  Even though the back of the book tells you clearly that Wagler leaves the religious background of his youth, even knowing how it would end, I could barely put the book down.  Wagler has such a gift for capturing his experiences in words, that the end result is a life-story that is both honest and yet tender.

I recieved a complementary copy of this book for review from 
The comments are my own.

1 comment:

Danmark said...

This book is the first hand account of a man who grew up Amish. He describes his family and upbringing in a way that is easy to relate to and hard to put down. He doesnt glamorize the lifestyle and explains interesting aspects of the culture I haven't read before. I think this is the best written autobiography of someone raised Amish and I have read all that I could find. Although the book focuses on the divide between Amish and outside culture, much of it is about adolescence and events within the Amish world that all of us have experienced or can relate to. I highly recommend this book about a former Amish person's experiences that are all too human.