Growing Up Amish: A Memoir
By Ira Wagler
This is a great book about the life of the Amish. I have always been curious about the Amish and how they live. I always wondered how constricting a life it must be. And this memoir answered all of my questions and queries about this.
The Amish life looks great from the outside. I mean, who would not like to have that kind of community support all the time, and a sense of belonging? Almost everyone would and it is psychologically healthy to have that kind of attention and acceptance. However, there is much more about the Amish life that is not so positive as this memoir so brilliantly demonstrates.
Ira Wagler was born into a small town in Ontario, Aylmer. It was an older Order Amish community and they were really restrictive in how they lived and looked at life. Ira was a really frustrated seventeen year old at the time and he wanted to escape from all of the rules of Amish life that were imposing on his spirit. So, literally in the middle of the night, he left a note under his pillow, packed a duffel bag and left to free himself.
Over the span of the next few years, Ira would get lonesome for the sheltered-ness of the Amish life and then leave it several times. He was trying to discover what he truly wanted and he was torn between the life of freedom and the life of community and restriction that the Amish posed.
In this memoir, Ira paints a very clear picture of Amish life. This book is a true story of one man’s quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. It shows strength and courage–something that is hard to come by in our world today.
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth