Growing Up Amish: A Memoir

(Author)
Available

Product Details

Price
$16.99  $15.80
Publisher
Tyndale House Publishers
Publish Date
Pages
288
Dimensions
5.55 X 8.29 X 0.71 inches | 0.65 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781414339368

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About the Author

Ira Wagler was born in the small Old Order Amish community of Aylmer, Ontario. At age seventeen, frustrated by the rules and restrictions of Amish life, he got up before dawn, left a note under his pillow, packed his duffel bag, and left. Over the course of the next five years, he 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 rest of the world. Only upon becoming a Christian at age twenty-six did he finally leave the Amish for good. He is currently general manager of Graber Supply, LLC, and Pole Building Co. in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Reviews

Filmmakers, academics, and novelists have offered depictions of Amish life. This memoir offers a nuanced account from a man who straddled both Amish and "English" (non-Amish) worlds. Wagler recounts his Amish upbringing, from dating conventions and worship services to local gossip and schoolyard bullies. The simplicity of everyday life may seem quaint on the surface. Yet Wagler bravely goes on to expose pervasive dissatisfaction among both youth and adult Amish living in what he characterizes as a stifling, formulaic world. Such unspoken displeasure sparked a cycle of coming and going for the author, who repeatedly crept away from his community only to return, if reluctantly, for its familiarity. It was a "paradox that would haunt me for almost ten years: the tug-of-war between two worlds." His tale of restlessness looks acutely at the clash of family ties with love of freedom. The memoir is worthwhile as much for its Amish insights as for its exploration of one man's emotional turmoil, regret, and shame. Wagler, who now works at a building and supply company in Lancaster County, Pa., deserves praise for his honesty.--Publisher's Weekly