Sunday, May 17, 2015

Called to be Amish... My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order

I've admired the Amish and Mennonites for their commitment to living life together. I think it's something that is missing in many mainline Christian churches. I think that, combined with the busy hustle bustle, makes reading Amish fiction relaxing. It's also very nice to know that it will be clean. I know that motives of the heart are hidden, but what we do does influence others.
Thank you Litfuse for this review copy.
Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller is the first memoir I've seen of someone who has chosen to convert to the Old-Order Amish faith. I am not sure what I expected, but I was immediately drawn into Mrs. Miller's story. She is indeed plain spoken. She writes as though writing to a close friend.

She doesn't gloss over the abuse in her childhood, but she shows God's hand drawing her to faith throughout her childhood. She gives enough details of her life, what she did to fill the emptiness we all feel, to show that she had a Jesus sized hole in her heart that only Jesus could fill.

From her charming first meeting with the Amish ice skater, Johnny, to her salvation experience, to her first meeting with his parents, and finally building a life together, Mrs. Miller shares the joys, trials, tragedies, and hope that she has experienced in her life.

This is indeed a beautiful book that strips away a lot of the fantasies about the plain life that one might have if they've read some of the current novels, but it also shows the deep, committed faith that this one Amish lady has had during her life.

 Mrs. Miller has a unique viewpoint that makes this especially interesting to us English. If you're interested in Amish life, I think you'll enjoy this memoir.

Called to be Amish
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.
 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.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.   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."


  1. I must read this book. I've read many a fictional account of an Englisher converting to the amish faith and Amish leaving the Order, but this promises to be altogether more insightful!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I enjoy Amish fiction, esp. Beverly Lewis, but I don't honestly want to read real life stories of it. for me, etc. me, just fiction is enough, I can close the covers of no worry over so & so's health, home. I think my heart is sometimes too tender, and there is so much hardship in the real world. One of the things I enjoy about fiction, is that once read. I need only enjoy and savor the good read I experienced, if only for a time, until reality once again comes my way. I only read "clean" books also except for Hamish Macbeth English murder mysteries. It is the call of of the Scottish Highlands to my old Scots roots, I think, that I enjoy. But I keep my thumb handy and block out any words or phrases that are inappropriate :)

  3. I have heard of this book from another friend and hope to be able to get and read it soon.

  4. I hope you enjoy it, Michelle.

  5. I understand, Annie. Fiction provides more of an escape and relaxation.

  6. It is, Christine. It wasn't exactly what I expected at all.

  7. I agree with your other readers, it looks like a good book. Thanks for sharing. Blessings

  8. Laura, thank you for sharing this book.. Sounds wonderful.I really want to read it..
    Have a blessed weekend. Judy

  9. This sounds very interesting. I wonder if it is possible to join the Amish as a single person....I am not thinking of it...just wondering.

  10. This sounds very interesting. I wonder if it is possible to join as a single person.

  11. Thank you Laura for sharing this book review with us at Good Morning Mondays. My husband and I are also very interested in the Amish and Mennonite lifestyle and I am definitely going to look out this book. Thanks and blessings

  12. Visiting Amish country has always been on my Bucket List...
    Enjoy your book

  13. Great post - I'll have to read more carefully (it's getting late here!) but we have many many old-order Amish in this area. I've always been fascinated by them and we have done business with many for things like furniture, our swing set for the boys. Thanks for sharing!

  14. This sounds interesting, Laura, I know there are a number of ladies who check out the Amish fiction stories at our library - I'm sure they'd love this. I will be featuring your post in this week's A Return to Loveliness,

  15. I've noticed several titles at the library myself, Kathy. I never seem to have time to read library books because of Bible reading, review reading, and homeschooling.
    Oh, featuring, wow! Thanks!

  16. This book sounds really interesting Laura. I think I would really enjoy reading it! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  17. Great review! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  18. Hi Laura,
    I'm visiting from Strangers and Pilgrims on earth link up. I've always admired Amish people and your post was very beautiful to read :).

  19. I believe a memoir like this is valuable-- what better way to understand a culture / faith group than to hear (read) about it from someone who actually belongs to it? This sounds like a lovely book, Mrs. Miller a lovely person.
    --Jan, who found you via Literacy Musing Mondays

  20. I agree, Jan. Just think what a gift to her children!

  21. This book sounds so inspiring and thought provoking. I loved your review. Here is my pin again for Literacy Musing Mondays. ;)

  22. I always like to read books about other cultures and while Amish country in Pennsylvania is only a few hours away from me it might as well be on the other side of world because I know nothing about it and really don't understand it. Hence, I think I'd find this book pretty interesting.


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