Sunday, 30 August 2015

Called to be Amish - Marlene C. Miller

About the Book:

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.

My Review:


I really appreciated reading this rare firsthand account of someone joining the Amish fifty years ago, and who stills feels blessed to be a part of this life today. After a difficult childhood, I was delighted that Marlene found joy and a new purpose in life as an adult. As difficult as the transition was, Marlene knew her decision to marry an Amish man, and later join the church, was the right one, and worked hard to get to know her new world and to fit in with her new faith family. At times it felt like I was visiting Marlene in her home and she was sitting on a wooden rocking chair, sharing her life story with me. After closing the book, I also felt like I knew Marlene well, and wanted to visit her for real, share a cup of coffee and Amish sugar cookies with her... and some stories perhaps.

My sincere thanks to Herald Press for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have something in common with Marlene, since her book, Called to be Amish and mine, Hutterite Diaries are both in the Plainspoken Series, along with Chasing the Amish Dream, by Loren Beachy. I'm looking forward to seeing which book will be the next one in this series!

4 comments:

Katie Troyer said...

I know Marlene well. She was our neighbor after their marriage and before they joined the Amish. She has always been an inspiration to us.

Linda Maendel said...

Good to hear from you, Katie. Interesting that you happen to know Marlene. Thanks for sharing.

Beth Russo said...

Hi Linda - I have a book called 'Grace Leads Me Home', by Marlene C. Miller, (From head majorette to Old Order Amish). Is this the same book with a different title, do you know? It sounds like it might be, perhaps by a different publisher. Just curious. Hope you're doing well!! :)

Linda Maendel said...

I don't know, Beth. 'Called to be Amish - from hear majorette to Old Order Amish' is a fairly new book - just came out last February. Published by Herald Press.
Yes, I'm doing well and preparing for the start of another school year.