Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Called To Be Amish: My Journey From Head Majorette to The Old Order By Marlene C. Miller

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  

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 cheer leading 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.

My Thoughts:  

 Called to be Amish is a wonderful non fiction book by Marlene C. Miller, one of only 75 people allowed to convert to Amish in the United States.  As a huge fan of Amish Fiction, I have spent lots of time researching the facts about the Amish life so when this book was offered, I couldn't pass it up. This book is part of a series of books called Plainspoken: Real life stories of Amish and Mennonites, published through Herald Press. This is a real look into the Amish and the journey of Marlene Miller's life from Head Majorette to an Amish wife and mother.  Told from Marlene's point of view she opens up about her life from birth until now. She talks about her unhappy childhood and finding herself in doing cheer leading and marching band throughout school. She also goes through her relationship with Johnny, an Amish boy who offers to help her lace her skates at their first meeting. Marlene and Johnny find themselves having a baby and wanting to marry but neither family approves of this.  Even with all the differences and cards stacked against them they do marry and from there their lives begin.  As they navigate parenthood and marriage, Marlene finds herself bitter and depressed, treating Johnny as Marlene's mother treated her Dad, her, and her siblings.  As she stands at the sink with this realization she begs God for help and from there she and Johnny work to come back into the Amish community.  Marlene recounts her life with 10 children, a 100 acre farm with animals, hard times, and sad times. She gives her account of her almost leaving the Amish, Johnny, and the children but again God helps Marlene see her life and the good in her life.  The journey from English to Amish is not an easy one and and Johnny and Marlene's lives were very hard many times throughout their marriage but after 50 years they are still together, living as an Amish couple.

I found this book to be just awesome! Marlene's transparency about her life and her thoughts throughout her life is a huge testimony to God's love and His plan for life.  Marlene worked very hard for almost her whole life, struggling through many hardships and perseveres, actually ends up gaining so much.  Marlene's story is one of inspiration, her journey to finding God and how she clung to God throughout the good and bad.  I found myself completely drawn in with this book from the first page until the last. I laughed and cried through this book, finding inspiration in Marlene's struggles, gains, and her faith.  As I read this book I felt like I was there with Marlene watching her life and found myself able to relate to many parts of her life and her feelings. The story is told from Marlene's unique voice and I loved her complete honesty about her life, good and bad. Marlene's faith and trust in the Lord gives me hope. This book spoke to me on many levels and Marlene's story will stay with me for a long time.  I am excited and curious about this Plainspoken series, this unique series giving a look into the real life stories of the Amish and Mennonite people. I really hope to read the rest of the books in this series, finding solace in these faithful people. I loved reading Marlene's story and hope to read more from her! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading and learning about the Amish, you will not be disappointed. 
 I give this book 5+ STARS. 
Please check out this link to purchase Marlene's book:

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