Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir

  • by Saloma Miller Furlong
  • Narrated by Lois Johnson
  • 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

There are two ways to leave the Amish - one is through life and the other through death.
When Saloma Miller Furlong's father dies during her first semester at Smith College, she returns to the Amish community she had left twenty four years earlier to attend his funeral. Her journey home prompts a flood of memories. Now a mother with grown children of her own, Furlong recalls her painful childhood in a family defined by her father's mental illness, her brother's brutality, her mother's frustration, and the austere traditions of the Amish - traditions Furlong struggled to accept for years before making the difficult decision to leave the community.
In this personal and moving memoir, Furlong traces the genesis of her desire for freedom and education and chronicles her conflicted quest for independence. Eloquently told, Why I Left the Amish is a revealing portrait of life within - and without - this frequently misunderstood community.
The book is published by Michigan State University Press.

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What the Critics Say

"Furlong is relentless and even fearless about describing what went wrong within her family and her community. She relates in painful detail...although there are universal lessons here about the problems inherent in living inside an isolated, closed religious community, it's important to separate out those problems from the more personal problems inherent in particular families." (Bill Tammeus, Faith Matters; columnist for the National Catholic Reporter)
"Readers thirsty for a primer on Amish life will enjoy the detail, description, and insider knowledge. Yet lurking behind customs and practices outsiders label quaint and admire for supposed simplicity are powerful forces of control, chauvinism, and cruel constraint exposed by Furlong." (ForeWord)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good story.....terrible narrator.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Maybe....good story but the narrator was terrible.


What didn’t you like about Lois Johnson’s performance?

It seemed as though she was only reading the words and was unaware of WHAT she was reading. Her descriptions of sad and heart wrenching moments come through in the words but are read in a light and happy tone of voice. VERY strange. Almost creepy.
Had I been the author of this book I would've been disappointed in how my life was presented by this narrator.


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes


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- Amanda

I felt like a part of the family

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a fascinating story of a totally dysfunctional family immersed in the Amish community/culture. The book provides a window into the Amish traditions and demonstrates that what are the Amish traditions and culture from the outside, isn't what it looks like from the inside. But, what really makes this book is the reader's performance. Johnson becomes the part and is totally believable and captivating.


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- Robert

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-07-2012
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks