Review: Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler


Book: Growing Up Amish: A Memoir

Author: Ira Wagler

Publisher/Date: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc./June 2011

Pages/Price: 283/$14.99

ISBN: 978-1414339368

Category: Christian

About Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler

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 on Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler

Oh, I enjoyed this book. I have such an unexplainable fascination with the Amish. I enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction Amish books.

I think we all go through situations where we’re unsure of who we are and how we fit in – with our family, friends, co-workers, and society as a whole. I was about 23-24 when it was my turn. It’s confusing. Things you thought were truths turned out not to be. You started looking at people differently. You felt as if you belonged.

Ira’s story is similar to mine, or mine is similar to his – except I didn’t have to leave my family to find out what I needed to know.

Ira took us on a wild ride full of highs and lows, where certainties and confusion seem to switch places and change the way you think.

Mr. Wagler wrote an insightful memoir which includes his ultimate decision to leave the faith of his forefathers. I think there are some regrets, which happens with most decisions, but it appears that he made the right decision for himself at the time.

About the Author of Growing Up Amish, Ira Wagler

Ira Wagler was born in the small Old Order Amish community of Aylmer, Ontario. At 17, frustrated by the rules and restrictions of Amish life, Ira got up at 2 am, left a note under his pillow, packed his duffel bag and left. Over the course of the next 5 years, Ira would leave and return home numerous times, torn between the ingrained message that abandoning one’s Amish heritage results in eternal damnation, and the freedom and possibilities offered by the “English” world. Upon becoming a Christian at age 26, Ira left the Amish for good. He is currently general manager of Graber Supply, LLC and Pole Building Co. in Lancaster County, PA.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale Blog Network. The opinions expressed above are my own.

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