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.
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A must read (or listen!)
Narrator was quite nice to listen to.
I listen to audible books at work, as well as read traditionally at home. One of my recent Audible purchases was Growing up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler which you can find on Amazon (just click the Amazon banner on the right hand side of my page and give it a click then search the title). Give the Audible book a go the narrator is great!
I've always been curious as to the Amish way of life due to the fact we have a healthy population of them (and other Anabaptist groups) here in Indiana and you'll regularly see them at the Zoo as well as around the towns surrounding Indianapolis. I even buy cheese and apple butter from them regularly but never really talk to them past doing business. This book gave me an adequate look into the Amish way of life.
I'll note that the book isn't a look at a typical Amish life as Ira was one that hardly questioned the lifestyle and left the community a handful of times. This however in itself is an interesting thing. You see raw emotion in this book, the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly, you get to see a boy become a man and question the world he knows. You also see a man who still highly respects his family and the culture he came from, never portraying them in a bad light but simply telling it how it is.
My only complaint with the book is it has left me wanting to know more about Ira's post Amish life, although he does have an easily found blog which let me do just that! Check the book out!
- Ryan C. Mercer