Growing up amish

Grade B-

One fateful starless night, 17-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2 AM, left a scribbled note under his pillow, packed all of his earthly belongings into in a little black duffel bag, and walked away from his home in the Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa. Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life—from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26. Growing Up Amish is the true story of one man’s quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. Readers will laugh, cry, and be inspired by this charming yet poignant coming of age story set amidst the backdrop of one of the most enigmatic cultures in America today—the Old Order Amish.

My review;
It's hard to judge a book about someones life and opinions, especially when I have no idea what it is like to grow up Amish. I did enjoy reading this book, it was well written and never got boring. A few phrases were used WAY to many times, I remember thinking if he explains how the bishops in the church would pray in a rhythmic, soothing way one more time I was going to scream. I got the idea the first time I didn't need a description of what it sounded like every time a prayer was said when it sounds the same every time.
I am not discrediting how the author felt at all because who am I to judge how someone feels and thinks of their own family, community and religion. There were a few things about his opinion that I just did not understand though. I just did not understand at the end of the book what his problem was with his church or family or the way he was raised that made him so depressed and want to leave and hurt so many people so badly. He said that the community pulled together whenever anything bad happened to someone, like when his brother got paralyzed and the members of his church donated money to cover a bill that was somewhere along the lines of $80,000, And his father took the debt apon himself even though he didn't have to do that because his son was an adult. And his dad bought him a brand new buggie, exactly the one he wanted even though no one ever told him thank you (he claims in the book that he didn't really know he should say thank you, but come on thats just common sense when someone spends a lot of money on you, ever, for any reason you say thank you). And everyone always seems so nice and helpful but they never seemed to be able to do anything to make Ira happy. It felt like Ira always assumed the worst in everyone. At the beginning he even says that he is sure his birth was no big deal to his parents because Amish families all have a lot of children. But from my knowledge of the amish they consider children blessings and gifts from God, how could he think his birth was no big deal to his parents? And I am a mother and I don't care how many babies you have, there is no way to grow a child in your body, give birth and hold this new tiny life in your arms and think it's no big deal. Even "bad" people who have babies don't think no big deal, I'm not saying Ira didn't feel that his parents felt that way I just couldn't get from anything in the whole book what would make him think he wasn't so important to his whole family. They always loved him and helped him the best they could and forgave him no matter what he did to them.
I would have a hard time being amish because the work all day and the no technology after growing up with it would be so hard, but Ira didn't mind the hard work, he seemed to work just as hard or harder whenever he left the amish community. His biggest reasons for leaving seemed to be depression and wanting to drive a truck. Those just seem like crazy reasons to leave a family and a community and friends and everything for, especially because leaving did nothing to help the depression. His biggest problem was that his dad didn't talk enough, or at least not in the right way. Some men just don't say "I love you" they show it in their actions and I think Ira's father though not perfect gave and helped and sacrificed for all of his children. I guess I just wanted to understand why he really left and why he was so sure everyone that knew him thought and talked bad about him when they never did anything but welcome him back and love him and forgive him. Im not saying there was no gossip because there always is no matter where you live but I know as great as my neighbors are they would never do for me what Ira's did for him. I just felt sad the whole book, sad that Ira was so unhappy, all of the time. I just was rooting for him but he was just so frustrating sometimes. I loved the end of the book even though I am so sad how his relationship with his friend who helped him ended, I loved that Ira did find peace and I hope he now has a family of his own and that he doesn't feel alone any more. Overall 3 1/2 stars, I would have given more if I would have understood some of his reasonings a little more or if I would have learned a little bit more about the amish that I didn't know before. The cover is great and fits the story perfectly. 

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