Broken Roads: Returning to My Amish Father

Ira Wagler. FaithWords, $16.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-5460-1206-1
Wagler follows his memoir Growing Up Amish with this soul-searching but muddled recollection of what happened after he left the Amish faith at age 26. He shares his experience eagerly gaining formal education, first at a community college in the late 1980s, and then his adoring memories of his time at Bob Jones University. He then speeds through recounting his time at Dickinson School of Law and the collapse of his marriage of seven years in 2007. Some of the frustrating lack of specifics are partially explained later when Wagler describes starting a discussion and sermon-listening men’s group with the man his wife had an affair with (a fact which is awkwardly added with little unpacking or explanation). He also writes of how his divorce led him to drink too much and helped inspire a career shift from lawyer to writer. Wagler’s reflections are most engaging when he explores tensions and compromises in visits back to his parents, but, disappointingly, the individual narrative threads do not coalesce into obvious themes and leave a somewhat disjointed feel. This memoir of post-Amish life stumbles, but will help readers see the long-term emotional costs of the decision to leave. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/11/2020
Release date: 05/12/2020
Genre: Religion
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-3258-2
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