Sad. Fascinating. Heavy. Intriguing.
I grew up visiting Amish country often and for 4 years of my early married life we lived in an area filled with Amish and Mennonite families. My family also had an Amish family that we were friends with and spent time in their home as I as growing up. I have always had an appreciation for the Amish community and enjoyed reading the occasional Amish fiction. However, all this said, I think our English views of the Amish community are shaped on quaint ideas of happy-ending fiction books and tourist interactions. Reading Growing Up Amish displays an accurate view of the average and ordinary life of the Amish. While I appreciated the life story of Ira Wagler, I set this book down with an overwhelming sadness. Honestly, after the first few chapters I wanted to put the book down because it was depressing. Yet at the same time the inside look at raw Amish life was so fascinating that I couldn’t put it down. (Plus it was a review book and I needed to finish!)
I liked this book for it’s inside look at real Amish life versus our quaint, tourist view. However, I feel that the end fell flat. It was an abrupt ending to a very dramatic and emotional story. If this had not been a review book, I would not have finished it. The reason I give it 3 stars is that if you are hooked on Amish fiction I think this would be a good dose of reality for you.
If you have lot of time to read and are curious about Amish life you would probably enjoy this book.
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This review book was provided courtesy of NetGalley but the opinion expressed is my own.