Look Homeward, Amish Son: Ira Wagler’s Journey between Amish and “English” Worlds

By Maryann Henck

GUAWhat is it like to grow up in an Old Order Amish com­mu­ni­ty? Can the allure of tra­di­tion and a sense of belong­ing to such a com­mu­ni­ty over­ride the long­ing for free­dom and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence the great wide world? This unre­lent­ing push and pull between secure Amish com­mu­ni­ty life and the tempt­ing siren song of the out­side world have shaped ex-Amish author and blog­ger, Ira Wagler. In his best-sell­ing mem­oir, Grow­ing Up Amish, the author offers his read­ers an hon­est, bit­ter­sweet, and mov­ing account of how he left the Amish, only to return and even­tu­al­ly leave for good.

As one of the guest speak­ers at the Plain Peo­ple Con­fer­ence, Ira Wagler gave a heart­felt talk as well as read excerpts from his mem­oir about com­ing of age and his first love, Sarah Miller. But why don’t you lis­ten for yourself?

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