Thursday, May 14, 2015

Called to be Amish Book Review by Marlene C. Miller

Disclosure: I received this book complimentary in exchange for an honest review.

This was a fascinating book that lets outsiders peek a bit into a world that is mostly closed to us. I was not surprised to hear that fewer than 100 people have joined the Old Order Amish and stayed since 1950. Wow, that is a really low number. The Old Order Amish do not live an easy life. Marlene C. Miller decided to be one of those 100 converts and she shares her story in this book. It is a rare look deep into Amish life. 

Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood.  She does her best to immerse herself in cheer leading and joins the marching band in high school. She was fairly close to her grandmother who brought her to church. Her mother believed church was only for the elderly and children.  Her family life was not pleasant and was often punctuated by fighting, shouting matches, affairs and alcohol.    She shares the story of how she falls in love with Johnny, a gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates one winter day.

Marlene started to date the sweet Amish boy, Johnny.  They dated for three years and became engaged at her high school graduation in June, 1962.  Marlene became pregnant that winter with no wedding date in site.  Johnny was having second thoughts about marrying an outsider and didn’t want to leave his Amish faith. Johnny finally agreed to marry Marlene on April 20, 1963.
Marlene soon realized she wanted to become Amish.  She shared her long, arduous process of proving herself that was required before she could become an accepted, baptized member of the Amish faith. The stories she shared about her life as an Amish woman and mother were unbelievable. Marlene wrote about her children and their life of difficult and  hardship. They were quite poor and she was near exhausted all the time with 10 children in just about 13 years. I can't imagine. Just the cooking and laundry would break me. She had to keep up her garden, do canning and all the farm chores too.  Marlene shared the pain and suffering they endured over the years between accidents and poisonings and the hospital visits galore.I just couldn't stop reading. That is one hard life the Amish people live. 
Marlene C. Miller and her husband of forty-eight years still live on a farm in Ohio with their nine children, more than forty grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. 

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