Growing Up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler
I enjoyed this portrayal of the struggles of an young Amish man as he repeatedly tries to leave the group he grew up in.
Ira does a fantastic job conveying his complex personal history. He writes with remarkable passion and depth of emotion. His memoir is accessible to anyone who has a passing knowledge of the life of the Amish. He’s a pretty good story teller–he tightly packs emotions into words that endear the reader. He’s pretty good at picking out details, stories, characters, and anecdotes that help to illustrate and adorn what he is saying.
Though I’ve never been Mennonite or Amish, I did grow up and spend a portion of my Christian life within another less radical Anabaptist group. And while I would certainly not pretend to have had a similar experiences, I can relate to some aspects of this memoir.
Ira has long, strange tale to tell, one which will help those who are parsing similar experiences or just want to understand the Amish and their discontents. I will never again be able to see the buggies that traverse the dusty county roads of New York state in the same light.