Why I Left the Amish

Why I Left the Amish There are two ways to leave the Amish one is through life and the other through death When Saloma Miller Furlong s father dies during her first semester at Smith College she returns to the Amish comm

  • Title: Why I Left the Amish
  • Author: Saloma Miller Furlong
  • ISBN: 9780870139949
  • Page: 160
  • Format: Paperback
  • There are two ways to leave the Amish one is through life and the other through death When Saloma Miller Furlong s father dies during her first semester at Smith College, she returns to the Amish community she had left twenty four years earlier to attend his funeral Her journey home prompts a flood of memories Now a mother with grown children of her own, Furlong recallsThere are two ways to leave the Amish one is through life and the other through death When Saloma Miller Furlong s father dies during her first semester at Smith College, she returns to the Amish community she had left twenty four years earlier to attend his funeral Her journey home prompts a flood of memories Now a mother with grown children of her own, Furlong recalls her painful childhood in a family defined by her father s mental illness, her brother s brutality, her mother s frustration, and the austere traditions of the Amish traditions Furlong struggled to accept for years before making the difficult decision to leave the community In this personal and moving memoir, Furlong traces the genesis of her desire for freedom and education and chronicles her conflicted quest for independence Eloquently told, Why I Left the Amish is a revealing portrait of life within and without this frequently misunderstood community.

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      160 Saloma Miller Furlong
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      Posted by:Saloma Miller Furlong
      Published :2019-02-06T15:56:13+00:00

    About “Saloma Miller Furlong

    • Saloma Miller Furlong

      Saloma Miller Furlong is the author of the memoir Why I Left the Amish and Bonnet Strings An Amish Woman s Ties to Two Worlds Her story is featured in the PBS documentaries The Amish and The Amish Shunned on American Experience She was born and raised in an Amish community in Ohio Driven by her desire for freedom and formal education, She broke away from her community not once, but twice She graduated from Smith College in May 2007 with a major in German Studies and a minor in Philosophy Her education has included research on the Amish with Donald Kraybill and a semester abroad in Germany, where she studied at the University of Hamburg During her thirty year inner struggle of coming to terms with her Amish past, she gleaned a better understanding of herself and her heritage It is this perspective that she brings to her reflections about the Amish.

    630 thoughts on “Why I Left the Amish

    • What is it about the Amish culture and religion that intrigues us? Is it the romance of a simpler lifestyle? The pastoral scenes of horse drawn buggies with barefoot children in quaint clothing? Their self-sufficiency and industrious work ethic? Unless we live among or work beside the Amish we probably don't have a realistic picture of what it means to be Amish. Thanks to Saloma Miller Furlong we move in with and sit elbow to elbow with one Amish family. We share their family life and are introd [...]

    • WHY I LEFT AMISH, a memoir, is written by a courageous woman who has a good story to tell but lacks the finesse to make the book anything more than a competent chronicle. The book needs considerable editing, but since it’s already in print, it’s too late. Nevertheless, the story reveals life behind the Amish curtain, which is edifying. The author’s father was not an exemplar of the best of Amish tradition. He was brutish, her elder brother sadistic, and the violence inflicted on the childr [...]

    • (this book was recommended to me by the author)This memoir reminds of "The glass castle" - a family life that is so astoundingly dysfunctional that one fears to believe it's true. I don't doubt that its true, and I'm impressed that the author seems to have as much love and forgiveness as she has (as opposed to the bitterness I found in "Growing up Amish").That being said, I found this compelling story hard to read - and not for the subject matter. Written in a semi flashback method, I found the [...]

    • This is the memoir of Saloma Miller Furlong, returning to her Amish community for her father's funeral after having left 24 years earlier. Her journey home brings back a flood of memories of her painful childhood: a mentally ill father with a violent temper, an abusive older brother, and a mother who rarely tried to protect her. She also reflects on the events that led up to her deciding to leave and start a life of her own, at the age of 20, in Vermont.This book is a very interesting and unroma [...]

    • I am from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. It is normal to see Amish people where I live since there is a pretty big population here. However, even though I was born and raised here, I don't know much about the Amish other than the little bits my dad told me.I read this book because the author of it was coming to the Hershey library. I missed her visit, however, I still wanted to read her book. Since I don't know much about Amish life, I did learn a lot from reading her book. I think, more than a [...]

    • Ms. Furlong is brutally honest in this memoir. Incest, physical abuse, and animal cruelty all make their appearances. I got a kick out of the digs she'd sometimes slip in about her parents. Several times Mem's wide girth, "large hips nearly filling the doorway", and Det's lack of intelligence (and teeth) are mentioned. It's clear she still (understandably, they were rotten parents) holds a grudge.It was interesting reading about her Amish upbringing, and her family that was dysfunctional even by [...]

    • This dragged a little at times but overall was a very compelling memoir of a woman who grew up in a dysfunctional Amish family and finally broke free and left on her own. Saloma's father was abusive, her mother was an enabler of that abuse, and her brother committed incest against both her and her sisters, getting her younger sister pregnant with an incestuous baby. The community knew of these atrocities but did nothing. The Amish were painted a very bad light in this book. There is emphasis on [...]

    • Growing up in a dysfunctional family, Saloma Furlong faced a hard choice - endure the abuse or leap across a big cultural gap to the outside world in this memoir, she poignantly describes her pain as well as her successful transition and eventual reconciliation with her family.Furlong draws you in with familiar images of Amish life but goes on to reveal serious social problems that other more romanticized accounts of the Amish neglect. This is a remarkable and gripping memory of a female growing [...]

    • This is a very compelling memoir. No-one in their right mind could really fault the author for leaving the Amish after reading this---she grew up in a household that would be dysfunctional in any culture, and it sounds like she has had a good life after an awful childhood, and I am glad of that. The writing is a bit stiff here. Sometimes, there are so many details about something fairly unrelated to the main story that it gets frustrating, and sometimes, there are mere mentions of issues that se [...]

    • My mom gave me this book because it is written by one of my relatives, so I figured I'd give it a shot but didn't expect much. I was really surprised to find such a engaging, honest story. As someone who knows very little about the Amish culture, I learned so much from this book that was both interesting and heartbreaking. Saloma writes clearly and confidently about some very difficult experiences that sadly many people who experience abuse can relate to. I'd definitely recommend this book to an [...]

    • The writing was pretty difficult for me to read at times, especially the choppy dialogue. But overall the book was okay, and I'm glad I finished reading it even though I seriously considered stopping four or five times during the first 100 pages.

    • Miller Furlong is not the most polished writer, but she did provide a portrait of Amish life that showed chinks in the idyllic armor. I was particularly interested in how mental illness was dealt with in her Amish community.

    • I read this for the Just For Fun Challenge which encourages reading one book that has been on the TBR shelf for a long time and without doing a review. I still rated this book though and I enjoyed it.

    • This is not just a curiosity piece, like Wagler's Growing Up Amish. This woman can really write, and piece by piece, she puts together a very hard look at the way Amish treat the disabled, deal with issues of domestic abuse and incest, and the way that intellectualism is stamped out hard, the way you would a dish towel that lands flaming on the kitchen floor.Before reading this book, I felt a certain sympathy too strong a word? Maybe it isr the Amish. I had read in various places that more and m [...]

    • A Remarkably Wise and Grace-Filled MemoirMillions of Americans met Saloma Miller Furlong in PBS’s two-hour American Experience documentary: The Amish. In one short vignette within the two-hour film, viewers heard from Saloma, saw photos from several points throughout her life and learned what leaving the Amish felt like for her—in short, very painful yet also liberating.Even at the generous length of two hours, Saloma's real story is more complex than PBS and its expert narrators like Kraybi [...]

    • I love the picture on the front cover, the smiling face that says “I’m here” Saloma tells us that she wanted to be photographed and that this picture (one of only a few from her childhood) is very dear to her. After reading the memoir what strikes me most about this picture is that it shows a determination to ‘exist’ rather than blend in. A pretty girl, no snub nose that I can see, but a beautiful button one and large sad eyes. As the terrible sad tale unfolded - I related to the same [...]

    • This is the autobiograpy of Saloma Miller Furlong. First, I jsut want to say that her family is a mess and this is not just a problem in the Amish. However, the problems are magnified due to the structure of their society/religion. From the time they are born, women are controlled by men. The males in the religion decide everything including how women dress and act. Saloma's family had a difficult time as her father had mental health issues and maybe a developemntal disability. He has big depres [...]

    • This book was recommended to me by the author, after she read my review for Unorthodox, on . I decided to take her advice, and ordered the book. It is about the life of young Saloma Miller who grows up with a Father who has mental capabilities that are less than those of the average individual, and a Mother who looks the other way as her daughters are abused physically, sexually, and emotionally very roughly by their older brother and very harshly beaten by their Father. The memoir takes you dee [...]

    • I genuinely don't understand people flipping out about how hard it is to keep track of the characters in this book. I found it easy and straightforward, so maybe other readers were just skimming too quickly? Who knows. I also didn't see the problem with editing that other reviewers described. There are FAR worse memoirs with terrible organization. This wasn't the best or most brilliant memoir I've ever read, sure, but it was good. The story was engaging (and horrifying), and the action kept goin [...]

    • Gentle, kind, down-to-earth, live simply - so many words similar to these come to my mind when I think of the Amish. There are many books out now about the Amish and they continue your feelings of pleasant people who care for all of those in their community.Why I Left the Amish gives you a view into the darker side. All is not sweetness and light and their communities have problems, also. Saloma grew up Amish with two brothers and four sisters. Her father had a dark side. He was depressed and al [...]

    • I wanted to read this because I am interested in first hand accounts of people who live unusual or different eyes from mine. I am also very interested in insular communities and cults.This book, for me, was necessarily a reflection of Amish life or any religious community life, as it was a recounting of growing up in a family affected by undiagnosed and untreated mental illness and of how the community either did or did not accept and accommodate that family.The writing could be very thin and so [...]

    • I found this story a difficult one at first, as I have an abuse history and it was hard to read the details of Saloma's abuse. Being brought forward into her life at the time she was a Smith College student helped to keep my balance. Her discussions with her son about Amish customs helped the balance and the way her old community received her at her father's funeral felt healing.Saloma's stories have started me on a journey of finding out about Amish communities, the range of styles and customs [...]

    • Look at the sweet little girl on the cover and be glad she is a happily married mother with a Smith College degree working in the German Department and European Studies Program at Amherst College and not still with her dysfunctional family in an Amish community setting. Granted, you could come from a dysfunctional family no matter what, but add on the, to me, strange rules that must be followed according to their way of life and you've got a pretty miserable existence, especially for a woman. Fo [...]

    • This memoir offers a chilling glimpse into what can happen when dogma trumps love and commonsense. Saloma Miller Furlong offers a picture of a dysfunctional family at its worst, and it is not a pretty picture.The author grew up in an Amish family in Ohio and demonstrated tremendous courage by leaving familiar surroundings to enter a vastly different culture where she hoped to find safety and peace. Furlong shares personal details of abuse and its impact on her life. She elaborates on the dating [...]

    • To be honest, I thought I would learn a lot more about the Amish life/culture than I did. I did learn some things and the rational for some of their traditions were explained. However, it was really more a book about and very dysfunctional, abusive family, where even sexual abuse occurred and the patriarch of the family was mentally ill. Ms. Furlong was right to leave the situation. Too bad that the social system protected and hid the abuse instead of protecting the children. Any system that sup [...]

    • There were parts of this book I really enjoyed, and parts that were a bit confusing. The set-up of the book--it's mostly told in flashback--is an interesting idea, but the author often tells you that something has happen, THEN later on, describes the event happening (like her rape by her brother). When the event actually happens, the dramatic punch is lost. Some of the dialogue is stilted between her, her husband, and her son. I kept thinking "teenagers don't really talk like this." It's a good [...]

    • This one is hard for me to rate. I usually avoid books that involve such abuse because I have a hard time reading it. I would say the first half of the book took me a LOT to get through. It seemed a bit repetitive at parts and I will admit I almost stopped reading it. I'm glad I didn't because after that, it picked up and became more of the book I thought it would be. The second half of the book was really good. I'm glad I got to learn more about the insight of the Amish, despite this - hopefull [...]

    • I really enjoyed this. More so than any other Amish memoir I've read. Instead of focusing on recounting stories of Amish culture that will amuse/confuse the reader (which is what I feel like many do), Saloma instead told the story of family and growing up. When I finished reading, I almost could have forgotten that she was writing about growing up Amish-her story was not typical but the feelings associated with it were universal. The one part I didn't care for was the way most of the dialogue re [...]

    • When you think you know about the Amish, you may want to rethink. This book brought out good and bad and I'm so happy that the Author found her way in life. People that live outside of the Amish world tend to have a preconceived notion of what it may be like. The author's story mimics what many of us go through in life - the hardships, struggles, the situations with family. The Amish are no different than any of us on this planet. I'm recommending this book for anyone that is struggling with rel [...]

    • It was interesting to read about the amish, however her writing style was kind of dry, so it took me awhile to get thru it. Her father dies and she goes back and forth between the travel to the funeral and her life when she was amish. I have read Escape which is a memior about a relegious cult, which is kind of similar, but way more interesting of a read. I would have liked to hear a little more about how her life right after she got out of the amish and how it came to be that she got the book d [...]

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