I was really blessed to read a special book this past month.
If you’ve read any of my book reviews you know I like to read Amish fiction. Not because I imagine they have an idyllic life free from the ills of this world but actually mostly because I simply like the old fashionedness and the homemaking details.
Well the book I got a chance to read is a memoir or a lady who actually is Amish. Called to be Amish by Marlene C. Miller.
Here’s a little bit about her story.
Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old-Order Amish—and stayed—since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them. In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.
Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God’s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community.
Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God’s call as an Old Order Amish woman.
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. I could not put it down. From Marlene’s trouble childhood, to her rushed marriage and God led entry into the Amish life, through the trials and troubles that came along the way. It was well written, flowed well, and kept me engaged.
Although Marlene joined the Amish church and family the story wasn’t really about the Amish life per se but rather Marlene’s life as an Amish woman. The Amish lifestyle wasn’t glorified (although she had always admired it from when she was little) and analyzed in depth. Rather it was the detail details of Marlene’s own growing family and her new extended Amish relatives.
Marlene becomes a Christian midway through the book and shares her joy of finding and serving the Lord throughout. She talks of how the Lord led her to join the Amish church, a return home for her husband. My own husband has misgivings that the Lord would lead one to join the Amish church but we can never fully know the leading of God. We also don’t know all aspects of the Amish. The books and shows we see on them are only a small glimpse of a closed society. Just as the flawed representation of one group is what is glorified in the media so it may be for other groups.
Marlene came from such troubled beginnings I can totally understand how God would lead her to this large loving family as the desire of her heart.
About the author:
Marlene C. Millerjoined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”