Marlene's Reviews > Growing Up Amish

Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler
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's review
Jul 16, 2011

really liked it

Ira Wagler brings readers into the world of the Amish as he vividly describes being repeatedly tossed between the pull of familiar security in this life and the next, and beckoning possibilities of a culture of forbidden fruits. A lot to weigh at 17, the son of an iconic Amish writer. Nevertheless, walk away, he did, thus beginning a journey back and forth between divergent cultures as he fought to find a way to meld his beliefs with the ways of the “world.” Growing up deeply entrenched in rules, traditions, and obedience to an austere God; prayers were formal and by the book, while services were long and seating on hard benches was ordered by age. Plenty of work availed itself, whether for the immediate family or caring for community members, a world in which those in need would always experience security. However, dictates from the church leaders gradually lost discontent teens one by one, including disillusioned Ira. His belief that leaving the fold would bring eternal damnation kept Ira returning in repentance to his Amish roots. A providential encounter with Sam, a friend who quietly led Ira to a God of love and a relationship through faith, drew an end to Ira’s 10 years of frenzied running and discontent.

Amish or not, the theme is easy to relate to as Ira’s desire to explore and choose for himself is common to most, especially in the teens and early twenties. He gifts the reader with an inward look at various orders of culture, traditions, and values within communities and within self. As we gain much needed insight, we are led to yearn for him to find peace with himself, his family, his culture, and God.

This is an honest review of a galley from Tyndale House Publishers through NetGalley.
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