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Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman's Ties to Two Worlds

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  93 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
At age twenty, Saloma Miller left behind her Amish community in Burton, Ohio, and boarded a night train for Vermont, where she knew no one.

In this poignant coming-of-age memoir, Saloma's new life of freedom includes work as a waitress and plans to continue her education. Romance also blossoms with a Yankee toymaker. Soon, however, a vanload of people from her community, in
Paperback, 337 pages
Published February 3rd 2014 by Herald Press (VA)
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Shari Larsen
This is the true story of a young Amish woman, Saloma Miller, who left behind her Amish community and her family in November 1977, at the age of 20, and boarded a train to Vermont, where she knew no one. Just as she was getting settled into a new life, a vanload of people from her community, including 2 of her siblings, arrived to bring her back to the fold. That was the beginning of an almost 3 year struggle of feeling torn between two worlds; should she remain Amish and stay in the community t ...more
Melanie Springer
Jan 05, 2014 Melanie Springer rated it really liked it
A compelling story about one woman's decision to leave the Amish. Offers an unalloyed view of the Amish apart from the romanticized views often provided by the fictionalized accounts of the Amish.
Shirley Showalter
Apr 16, 2014 Shirley Showalter rated it it was amazing
I prefer real-life romance to the kind in pulp novels. If you're the same and want to learn about a couple who overcame obstacles of distance -- geographically, religiously, culturally -- not once but many times, you have found the right book. Here are the characters: Saloma, the young woman who left her dysfunctional Amish family in Ohio to find her dream landscape in Vermont and her dream job as a waitress at Pizza Hut. In Vermont she meets David, who grew up in a New England Catholic family a ...more
Saloma was twenty when she left the Amish for a life of freedom in Vermont. Four months later Saloma's brother Joe showed along with other people she knew to bring her back. Saloma knew she couldn't fight going back, especially if Joe was there.

She was thrust back into Amish life. Saloma tried to fit in, tried to be Amish and forget all about her four months in Vermont and her time spent with David. But, as much as she tried, Saloma couldn't forget about any of it.

It was a hard decision, but whe
Kathleen Pooler
Feb 26, 2014 Kathleen Pooler rated it it was amazing
When I read Bonnet Strings, I felt as if I’d been invited into the world of a young woman who was deeply conflicted about where she belonged. Saloma Miller was born into an Amish community in Ohio. As long as she could remember, she felt mismatched to the conservative, rigid practices of her community. She was labeled rebellious and stubborn.

The story begins when twenty-year-old Saloma prepares to find her place in the world. Her decision to leave her community is precipitated by her constant fe
Feb 27, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, religion
I was a goodreads first reads winner of the book "Bonnet Strings, an Amish woman's ties to two Worlds" I have an interest in other religions and beliefs. my family used to have a place on a lake in MOntcalm county. There was a group of Amish families that lived there. This is a good memoir by Saloma Miller Furlong. At 20 she decided to leave her Amish family in Ohio and go to Vermont to start a new life. In Vermont she changed her name to Linda and started a new life made new friends. including ...more
Feb 03, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review is based on an ARC that I received through a Goodreads giveaway.

Bonnet Strings is a memoir written by Saloma Miller Furlong, who was born and raised in an Amish community in Ohio. The book primarily deals with the period in her life when she struggles to come to a decision about remaining a member of the Amish community or being true to her unique self and leaving the Amish to pursue her own individual dreams. It is also a moving love story, as Saloma meets and falls in love with the
Jul 24, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this copy as an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. I wasn't expecting this to be a memoir, and when it came in the mail I was pleasantly surprised. Furlong conveys the struggle of being torn between her own desires and the desires of her community very effectively. While at times I wish she would have wrote less about the letters, I do see that mentioning them was necessary in order to convey how the Amish are cut off from the rest of the world's constant and quick communication. There were also ...more
Jun 10, 2014 Kay rated it liked it
Less coherent than her first book (in some places, not all), this was a good continuation and elaboration on Furlong's story of leaving (and subsequently returning to, then leaving again) the Amish community in which she had grown up. I wasn't so interested in her journey to marrying a Catholic, which seemed to fuel her crisis of faith, but rather in the descriptions of a community that pressured her to return even as they made her an outcast within said community.
Feb 14, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it
I won this book as a giveaway. I already wrote a review. I accidentally wrote it on the "kindle" version of the book. if you want to read my review it is there. I did write a review for the book I won.
Jun 30, 2014 Amber rated it liked it
Not generally my kind of book, but well-written and an interesting look into a conflicted life. I will be using it as a textbook for my Women Around the World class this fall.
Feb 13, 2014 Marnie rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book very much.
Jul 23, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Yes, Yes, Yes... A First Reads Winner Book and Thank you Good Reads, and Saloma Miller Furlong with her awesome husband, David.

This is an exceptional memoir and I encourage those who are interested in the journey a woman takes when she stands at the crossroad. Saloma's crossroad was to remain Amish, be with family, friends and community but "stuff" her real self. Saloma is a curious,questioning woman and wants to experience more of life. She, also, does not have an easy family or community life.
Donna Davis
A few years ago I read and reviewed this author’s first memoir, Why I Left the Amish. Her reasons were compelling, some of them inherent in the Amish tradition, others atypical of most Amish families, but all together they provided a powerful impetus, that little voice inside all but the dullest that cries out, “Man the life boats! Save yourself!” I understood, having read it, why Furlong would choose to bail, but I was left with other questions, mostly regarding a gap between the end of the boo ...more
Sep 25, 2014 Kris rated it really liked it
Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman's Ties to Two Worlds is a riveting memoir by Saloma Miller Furlong. The book outlines the difficult decision she made when she chose to leave her Amish community. The author explains how difficult it was to initially leave her Ohio home and move to Vermont, where she knew no one and had to quickly acclimatize to a non-Amish way of life. She then explains how equally difficult it was to move back to her home when a van load of family and Amish church elders came to ...more
Jan 27, 2014 Victoria rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
3.5 stars
Saloma never felt like she fit into her Amish community. She wasn't like the other girls and spoke her mind regularly which was not common for women to ever do. She decided to go off exploring life for herself and left everything to seek out who she was.

Throughout the whole process of Saloma finding herself, she stays in touch with a man who loves her so much named David who is located where she moves to temporarily. Her relationship with him goes from good to horrible to amazing all b
Brenda Roberson
Feb 15, 2014 Brenda Roberson rated it liked it
I went into this book with one way of thinking about the Amish people only to have that thinking completely changed. This is a story about a young woman who is so thoroughly confused as to who she is that it made me wonder if she would ever come to terms with herself.

The White Knight of this story is the man who eventually becomes her husband. His personality is so nonjudgmental that he makes the world a better place for Saloma. That hatefulness that she unleashes on him is beyond forgiveness in
Feb 18, 2016 Doxiemutti rated it it was amazing
I received this book through a drawing on Saloma's blog. I really enjoyed Ms. Furlong's memoir. It was well edited, and I appreciated her voice throughout the piece. With each passing chapter, the anguish in her experiences and decisions was ever present. I found myself racing through parts two and three to find out "what happened next?!" I felt her and David's letters added insight to events of her story--as well as David's chapters. I would recommend using this book for a women's lit or creati ...more
Jan 06, 2016 Esther rated it really liked it
Torn between two cultures, the author struggles with having to totally leave the Amish sense of community in which she was raised in order to get an education, the freedom to make decisions and a young man she met in Vermont who loves and understands her.
Apr 26, 2015 Helen added it
aThis is the sequel of Why I Left The Amish. I learned more about her struggle with Amish world versus "English" world. After leavi/ng once and then returning, Ms. Furlong deci/ded she had to leave again. I have always been interested in the Amish community.
Sep 29, 2014 Jeannie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-biography
Having heard Saloma at our library I was interested to read her book. Not knowing much about the Amish, it was an eye opener!
Jul 23, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good book. It's a biography and the Amish world from the inside is pretty amazing. Some parts I found distasteful, as with any sect. She is very honest in this book.
Feb 28, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it
Much better than the first book. A woman torn between her community and her freedom.
Mar 05, 2014 Kari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story of a young person being confused on where her life should go. I did enjoy the book. Sometimes the book did seem a bit choppy going from one brief story to the next in a chapter.
This memoir is a great love story and has a very strong sense of place. It respectfully tells the narrator's story of leaving the Amish.
Carol Harris
This book was good, but didn't hold my interest enough to give it more than three stars.
Ruth Conrad
Nov 04, 2016 Ruth Conrad rated it it was amazing
I was impressed with this memoir telling how Saloma made a new life for herself after dissatisfaction and adversity in her Amish life. Saloma did a good job showing the conflicts she felt.
Beth Drabik
Beth Drabik rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2014
Kristen Graessle
Kristen Graessle rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2017
MennoMedia rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2013
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Saloma Miller Furlong is the author of the memoir Why I Left the Amish and Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman's Ties to Two Worlds. Her story is featured in the PBS documentaries "The Amish" and "The Amish: Shunned" on American Experience.

She was born and raised in an Amish community in Ohio. Driven by her desire for freedom and more formal education, She broke away from her community –– not once, bu
More about Saloma Miller Furlong...

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