Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review: Growing Up Amish

DETAILS: Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler. Copyright 2011. Memoir.

SUMMARY: Ira Wagler grew up in an Old-Order Amish community in Ontario.  At seventeen he left the community for the first of many times and this book chronicles his early life as well as his later struggles.

PROS: I, like many Americans, have a strange fascination with the Amish people.  They hold a level of intrigue and romance that we are drawn to.  There were many interesting parts of this book as he shares his personal experiences with the Amish people and the struggles he faced when he decided to walk away.

CONS: Some of the narrative was a little disjointed it seemed.  The rest of my complaints about this book are purely subjective.  I was looking and hoping for something that was a little more about the practices and beliefs of the Amish community and this book was much more of a chronicle of Mr. Wagler's personal and spiritual struggles, set against the backdrop of the Amish.  The back of the book called it "heartwarming" but honestly I thought it was just kind of sad.  By the fourth or fifth time that Mr. Wagler returned to the Amish community, got fed up and left, I was a little tired of the same pattern.  While I realize that in real life, we aren't blessed with the luxury of hindsight, I did get a little annoyed with his repetitive pattern of leaving and returning, leaving and returning.

BOTTOM LINE: This book is interesting and somewhat informative about the Amish, but wasn't great.  Three stars out of five.

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