Thursday, May 14, 2015

Called to Be Amish

Called to be Amish

Title: CALLED TO BE AMISH: My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order
Author: Marlene C. Miller
Publisher: Herald Press
February 2015
ISBN:  978-0836199116
Genre: Amish memoir
Series: Plain Spoken

Fewer than one hundred people 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.

First, let me preface this by saying I am not a fan of memoirs. I just don’t care. I guess I got drawn in by the kapp on the cover of this book and decided to read it. Ms. Miller was a majorette, and we learn every detail she can remember of her life from before she became Amish. The story is rather disjointed as it starts with her getting into her wedding dress and discovering the wedding is off to the story of her birth. It was quite a bit into the book before she shares why Johnny called off the wedding and how they did end up marrying, after all.

Years ago, an Amish woman wrote a daily diary for Country Living magazine. The diary entries at the end of this book were interesting and reminded me of the ones that were published in Country Living. I enjoyed reading them, an intimate look at an Amish day from sunrise to sunset. I have no idea if Ms. Miller wrote the ones I remember or not, but they were similar in style and voice to the one included in this book.

If you are interested in the life story of a woman born Englisch who marries an Amish man, the struggles to convert and adjust, and the continued real life difficulty of such a “plain” life, then pick up a copy of CALLED TO BE AMISH.

3 stars. Available in ebook and paperback. 256 pages.

This book was provided by the publisher via Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

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 Meet the Author
Marlene C. Miller joined 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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