Irene grew up Amish. That was the only life she knew and that was the only thing she had to compare life to. She did not think she was deprived in any way until she got a little older. Her family was not a happy one. Her father always seemed to be mentally and emotionally abusing her mother. Everyone told on everyone. There really wasn’t a concept of love.
As Irene grew she began to see things that didn’t make sense in her life style. They were not allowed to have cars, but could certainly pay someone to drive them places, if they were English, aka, non Amish.
Irene began to itch at the prospect of other things, she also began to take a liking to the local driver, a man twice her age and divorced.
Irene decided to leave. She knew she would be put upon the ban, but she left anyway. She married Ottie and made a life with him. They compiled a book and were systematically shut out of the life they had once known.
What I liked
I’ve read quite a few fiction books about the Amish, but this is the first time I have really read a book about a real person who has left the community. Honestly, most of this I had already known, as far as the traditions. I did think there would have been a lot more respect going on amongst family members, but I suppose not.
What I didn’t like
Quite frankly, this book wasn’t well put together. It’s not written all that well. The timeline is confusing. The story isn’t that intriguing.
I’m sure Amish people leave all the time and with better stories than Irene’s. She wasn’t beaten or sexually abused, nor a young mother. She was just a girl who liked the attention a much older man paid her and she didn’t particularly like the way of life she had, so she left, not that there’s anything wrong with any of this; it just doesn’t make an interesting story.
I hope she’s happy, but I honestly feel kind of sad for her. She left to marry a much older man who was disabled and severely overweight. She never even really got to experience what it was like to have a young man fawn over her. She went from one hard life directly into another.
My whole thought is that she could have done better, and, yes, I know it’s kind of mean of me for saying it. She could have found a man closer to her own age.
I don’t know when this was written, no idea actually, but it seems Irene still lacks in the education department. It feels like a very young girl was writing this, not a grown woman. I would understand had this just been released a year after Irene left, when she was still new to the outside, but I’m pretty sure that was not the case. I believe she had some time to get herself adjusted and a little more educated before writing this. Since she had a ghost writer, the original manuscript was probably a lot worse than the finished product. Who knows–maybe the entire idea was for the book to sound as if it were written by a young girl?
I hope Irene is doing great, but I’m just not impressed.
Do you think it’s silly to actually ban a person from your life?
How do you think Irene’s life would have turned out if she had met someone younger?