Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir

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MSU Press, Jan 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 213 pages
8 Reviews

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 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mom2acat - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cherybear - LibraryThing

Interesting insight into Amish life. Not as picturesque as often portrayed. Not overly well-written, but I'm sure it was something the author had to do, and helpful for her. A lot of loose ends left hanging. Read full review

All 6 reviews »


Datts Struggle with Life
A Frolic
Do You Remember Me?
Funeral Circle
Reckoning with Joe
In the Shadows of the Buggies
A Grain by the Wayside
What Do You Mean by Love?
Wrapping a Plan
Out of the Woods
Into Daybreak
APPENDIX 1Naming Practices among the Amish
APPENDIX 2Differences between Amish and Mennonites
APPENDIX 3Terms for Outsiders

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About the author (2011)

Saloma Miller Furlong was born and raised in an Amish community in Ohio, which she left in her quest for freedom and a formal education. She graduated from Smith College in 2007, and was Department Coordinator for Amherst College Department of German and the Program of European Studies until 2011.

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