Friday, May 22, 2015

Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller Book Review

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

I realize I went to an unconventional high school.  There were 16 of us in grades 1-12.  A small Christian school at the beginning of the Christian schooling movement, we were unique.  Mine was the first graduating class.  We were located right in the middle of an Amish community.

We didn't have any Amish students attending our school, but I can remember buying carrots from the lady with the buggy parked in her garage.  There's nothing like a carrot harvested that day.  It was not unusual for another Amish lady to stop by to use the phone in our one room schoolhouse.  

I can remember at the time thinking what a unique people and almost idealizing their lives.   I knew they lived without modern conveniences, but there was something so quaint that I almost wished I was one of them.   Almost.

In Called to Be Amish, Marlene Miller tells what it is like to become Amish.  She was a Majorette in high school.  An Amish woman who used to be a Majorette?   It's very uncommon to convert -- less than 100 people have and stayed Amish since 1950.  This book left me with a very different look at the Amish than I did in high school.

It seems to be a hard life.  Not just without the inconvenience of conveniences, but with the vast amount of work that needs to be done.  The amount of food needed to be cooked at different times.   I'm preparing for a wedding this weekend and I can't imagine trying to cook for this crowd once a year and hosting church at my home the same week like the Amish do.

Rewarding?   I'm sure it is or she wouldn't be Amish.  But I am left thinking, "I'm glad I'm not Amish."   I doubt this is the idea she wanted to convey, but this is nothing like the bonnet romances that line Christian bookstores.  

I also was left wondering if she had a more functional family life growing up if she would have become Amish.  Perhaps this is not a fair statement but I have to wonder if she saw her husband as her escape and although they didn't live as Amish for some time after marriage, I wonder if she would have been as happy being Baptist or any other denomination.   I suppose it's something no one, not even Mrs. Miller could answer, but a thought in the back of my mind, nonetheless.

While I found this book fascinating, it was at times a hard read as it is a lifestyle I would find very difficult to adjust to, let alone live for over thirty years.  It disappointed me to see that Amish kids made fun of her children in school.

The bottom line?  The Amish are like us in many ways.  They have their share of tragedies,  heartache, and tears.  But at the same time I'm a bit jealous of their tight knit community.  If you enjoy reading about other cultures, are fascinated by memoirs, or interested in the Amish, then I think you would enjoy this book!

1 comment:

  1. Love to read this and learn how they do thing different from us