Thursday, June 26, 2014

Recovery Thursday - and Book Club Opinions

Hi Everyone,

First, I'd like to thank you for your interest in my drawing...Hubs will pull a name out of a basket tonight, so be sure to check tomorrow to see if I need your mailing address.

Quick blog today. I'm recovering from a nasty little virus that struck after dinner last night. Hubby is plying me with lots of tea, lucky me. 

My book club meets tonight, and I'd like to go on record with my opinion on our selection before I get those mixed feelings after hearing everyone else's reaction. 

Why I Left the Amish
   by Saloma Furlong Miller

A few early rumblings indicate some members felt this book wasn't as lively a read as they'd hoped. I somewhat agree with that, but for me, the substance outweighs that issue. Also, readers must remember, this author was raised by an Amish family. It doesn't get much plainer than that. Saloma's father was mentally ill and that certainly added an unexpected dimension to the book. 

My over all impression follows (not even close to a book review, but still.)
  • Well written. Author's strength of character makes this a worthwhile read (at times the story is a bit drawn out and stiff, similar but to a lesser degree than the style in Juliane Koepcke’s memoir, When I Fell from the Sky.) If I could pick a sister, I'd definitely pick Saloma!
  • Candid look at what Saloma experienced growing up in an Amish family domineered by a mentally ill father. It is clear from the start that she leaves her family and community, but her tale is one of unusual fortitude in the face of controlling forces and abusive relatives. Sometimes I was afraid to continue reading because I feared what terrible treatment could befall her next….
  • The other striking aspect of this book is that Saloma's individuality, character, spark, and curiosity all shine through as she takes the reader back through her harrowing childhood. Although at times her certainty wanes—that to be outside the oppressive Amish customs her parents adhere to will surely resonate with her heart and soul—her steady path toward escape is inevitable. 
  • Her last chapter ends with  this quote, which I think is indicative of Saloma's inner strength:  "When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy."                                                                                                                                          —Rumi

Happy Thursday!

14 comments:

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I hope you best of your health problems are. Interesting book. Keep in touch

Valerie said...

Dear Vickie,
Hope you feel better soon! That book sounds interesting. I will have to check it out.
Blessings
Valerie

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Vickie, the book looks interesting. We lived near the Amish when we lived in Indiana and Ohio.
Hope you feel better soon.
Blessings~

Patti said...

Hope you're feeling better, Vickie. How nice of your hubby to keep you comforted with tea. I remember when I was growing up...every stomach upset was treated with toast and tea. Tea always seems to be just right for whatever ails ya!

Blessings,
Patti

Elephant's Child said...

I do hope you are feeling much, much better.
I love memoirs and cherish the privilege of being invited into someone else's world. Seeing similarities, seeing differences. And this looks like one I would certainly read. And gain from.

Bookie said...

This title keeps popping up for me, but I have not read it yet. The Amish are always interesting in some way. Have you read the slender volume Plain and Simple by Sue Bender...a favorite from my past.

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Hi Marta, Feeling much better, thanks! Vickie

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Hi Valerie,
Glad to hear from you. Made it to book club so I'm much better; thanks for your note. We enjoyed a lively discussion of this book...all agreed the author is a courageous person and that the book is well written. I hope you read it. Vickie

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Celeste,I also lived near the Amish communities just west of Ardmore, PA. Nothing prepared me for what this author endured. We all wanted to read her sequel to learn more. And we all expressed gratitude for our lives after finishing our discussion.

Feeling much better, thank you.

Blessings, Vickie

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Patti, How familiar your remedy sounds! Had toast for breakfast and improved as the day wore on. Evidently a virus is cycloning the county. My hubby is the dearest man I have ever known and I am so grateful. Warmly, Vickie

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Hi EC, What a lovely perspective and eloquent comment. I certainly felt privileged to read of Saloma's childhood in this memoir. It was more like an odyssey. I'm definitely going to read her second book, which I hope will answer some lingering questions I have. She is blessed to have wonderful husband in her life. Her courage is remarkable. Vickie

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Hi Bookie, I have to look up Sue Bender's book, but I think I may have read it long ago if it's the one I'm thinking of. I suppose if I cannot remember it's time to read it again, right?

We decided to look up the author's speaking schedule and perhaps try to attend one of her talks nearby.

Susan said...

Hi Vickie...."Why I Left the Amish" was, indeed, a good read but chilling and disturbing. I am always amazed at the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity and abuse of all kinds. Susan

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Susan, I'll second that. I had a tough time getting through the darkest parts, but I am glad I stuck with it. I didn't sleep well the night I finished it and I'm still quite unsettled by the scope of Saloma's childhood abuse. However, it helped knowing that the author has lived a happy life (from what I can tell) since she left the Amish as a 20-year old, and that she was able to put this behind her in effect. Reminded me a bit of the "Orphan Train," another book club selection from last year. Thanks for commenting.