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Publisher's Summary

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.

The book is published by Michigan State University Press.

©2011 Saloma Miller Furlong (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Furlong is relentless and even fearless about describing what went wrong within her family and her community. She relates in painful detail...although there are universal lessons here about the problems inherent in living inside an isolated, closed religious community, it's important to separate out those problems from the more personal problems inherent in particular families." (Bill Tammeus, Faith Matters; columnist for the National Catholic Reporter)
"Readers thirsty for a primer on Amish life will enjoy the detail, description, and insider knowledge. Yet lurking behind customs and practices outsiders label quaint and admire for supposed simplicity are powerful forces of control, chauvinism, and cruel constraint exposed by Furlong." ( ForeWord)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good story.....terrible narrator.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Maybe....good story but the narrator was terrible.

What didn’t you like about Lois Johnson’s performance?

It seemed as though she was only reading the words and was unaware of WHAT she was reading. Her descriptions of sad and heart wrenching moments come through in the words but are read in a light and happy tone of voice. VERY strange. Almost creepy.<br/>Had I been the author of this book I would've been disappointed in how my life was presented by this narrator.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I felt like a part of the family

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a fascinating story of a totally dysfunctional family immersed in the Amish community/culture. The book provides a window into the Amish traditions and demonstrates that what are the Amish traditions and culture from the outside, isn't what it looks like from the inside. But, what really makes this book is the reader's performance. Johnson becomes the part and is totally believable and captivating.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lvmickey
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma United States
  • 01-30-14

Interest Story

What did you like best about this story?

It seemed to be an honest accounting of this woman's feelings about leaving Amish culture and religion

What about Lois Johnson’s performance did you like?

Her accent and inflection made this story come alive.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, the emotions involved made me put it down and step away and come back.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Miriam
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 04-12-13

Compelling

I couldn't stop listening to this brutally honest and illuminating account of growing up amish. Narrator took a bit of getting used to, but her voice finally grew on me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful