If you want to learn something about Amish culture, this book will not work for you. I deal with the Amish at markets, in their saddle and quilt shops, and have gone to their farms to purchase hay and canned goods, and as someone who has lived near Amish communities in three states, I found this book to be very sad. I hesitate to say "one-sided" as of course, she can only tell about the life she led, and as she says, her Old Order Amish family was extremely strict even by their own standards. I'm sure these people are like the rest of us, some good, some bad. You won't learn about Amish ways in this book, as she even admits she has no idea why some things are done. I took a course at Penn State on the history of Germanic peoples in America, including Mennonites, Hutterties and Amish, and the book "The Riddle of Amish Culture" by Donald Kraybill explores in depth the why of their way of life. This author would do well to read it too. It might clear up a few things for her.
R. S. reviewed Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life on
Helpful Score: 10
This is a very personal story. Still, since there's so little opportunity to see inside such a unique and closed society I found it worthwhile. There were a good many very specific examples of what Amish experience was like for one family and community.
I wouldn't take the family Garrett describes as typical and I'll look forward to other accounts of Amish society to complete my education.
tani reviewed Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life on
Helpful Score: 7
Anyone who likes Beverly Lewis' books on the Amish will find this one interesting, as it takes up the "shun" and many other cultural and religious matters that Lewis takes up in her novels. The case of old-order Amish who leave is rather different from the situation of people in other, modern, religions that stress "being separate from the world," in that the Amish generally live in all-Amish communities and have limited opportunities to know anything else.
Lewis' books mainly show Amish life in a positive light, though touching on some of its difficulties and unreasonableness (such as the mistrust of Bible study and the havoc that can be wreaked by a dogmatic local religious leader), but this book--being the story of one who chose to leave--reveals a lot of the negatives.
Started off very nicely. But the farther I went, the more I realized I was bored. She was very short on details of ANY kind, and truly, I am not talking about "dirt." No details. I would have been quite annoyed had I paid for this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author tells a fascinating story about her life within an "Old Order Amish Community", as well as her new life and marrige outside of the community.
I knew that the rules were very rigid inside the Amish Community, but I never really knew the intricasies and the strictness of an "Old Order Amish" community, that is, until I read Irene Garrett's book. I didn't know that there were different sects of the Amish way of life.
Living in Somerset County, PA, I am more familiar with the life of an Amish and a Mennonite community that does not seem as severe as an "Old Order Amish" community, but then again, I am one of "The English" and do not know as much about their way of life as I probably think that I do.
That being said, this book definately held my attention, making it a very good and a very quick read.
This short biography discusses how the protagonist left life among the Amish (the only life she knew) to be with the man she loved. The book discusses what it was like for this woman to be abandoned by her family and community, as well as the difference between the religious ordinances/conformity among the Amish and the spirituality this woman was allowed to explore when she left the Amish.
Interesting to take peak inside an extreme Amish culuture. Makes some of us "English" ponder the thought, "How can they think they're the only ones going to Heaven when they judge so harshly & will shun their own?". Good read into a life I'm glad I don't live.
Very nicely written. A lot of the details I already knew though from previous reading about the Amish and my own visit to an Amish community in Iowa (not sure if it may have been hers or not). Though if you are a "newbie" to the Amish world and want to know more information, this is the book for you. Also talks a lot about the ban (being shunned) from her community.
A samll but interesting read.the author was the 5th of 7 children raised in Kalona, Iowa. born into a rigid Old Order Amish family,she wasa brought up in a very strict family. this book offers a look into the shunning that the Amish do to their blood family if they break the rules.
Ruth Irene Garrett was the fifth of seven children raised in Kalona, Iowa as a member of a strict Old Order Amish community. She was brought up with rigid rules and intense secrecy in a world where the dress, buggies, codes of conduct, and way of life differed from that of other Amish societies a mere one hundred miles away. Her community uncompromisingly avoided all interaction with "the English" -- everyone who lived on the outside. As a result, Ruth knew only one way of life, one way of doing things.
This compelling true tale offers a striking look inside a hidden community as a woman comes to terms with her discontent and ultimately leaves her family, faith, and the sheltered world of her childhood. She bravely crosses over to a new and unfamiliar reality in hopes of better understanding her emotional and spiritual desires. The result is a powerful and inspiring story -- a search for meaning and the extraordinary lessons learned along the way.