Marlene Miller is a convert to the Amish and author of Grace Leads Me Home, a memoir of becoming Amish and her life in the 45 years since. I read Marlene’s book a couple of months ago and quite enjoyed it. Here is how I described my overall impression:
I liked the book. We’ve seen a few accounts of individuals leaving the Amish lately (see Ira Wagler or Saloma Miller Furlong). An account of joining the Amish by a person still in the faith is rarer. I asked an Amish convert once for an interview for this site, and was politely refused, a decision I could understand. At the same time Amish literary expression has flourished with more and more publications by Amish. Marlene is not afraid to share her warts in this book. If you enjoy raw first-person life stories you’ll like this one.
You can read the rest of what I wrote, including more details about the content here: Marlene Miller’s Grace Leads Me Home.
Marlene has kindly answered a few questions for us today, and also offered a copy of Grace Leads Me Home in a giveaway contest.
How to Win Grace Leads Me Home
There are two ways to enter to win:
1. Leave a comment on this post.
You can do both, for a total of 2 chances to win. I’ll draw and announce the winner in one week’s time, on Thursday, July 5th.
Marlene Miller Interview
Marlene’s answers are short and sweet but I think you’ll enjoy them. Thanks Marlene!
Amish America: What aspect of Amish life has been hardest to adapt to or adopt?
Marlene Miller: Number 1 was language, number 2 sewing, number 3 farming. It was 1971 before I ever tried harnessing and hitching up our road horse.
What was the hardest thing about writing Grace Leads Me Home?
Two aspects of my life were really hard. My childhood memories and my son’s accident, death and funeral had me constantly dripping tears on my paper.
What do you like about living in Holmes County?
We live in Tuscarawas County. But we call ourselves Holmes County Amish. Holmes County is next door. The scenery in these rolling hills are beautiful. The people are kind, laid back and very helpful when a need arises. Because the Amish drive buggies we can take the time to greet with a wave an smile.
What changes have you seen come to your community over 40-some years?
Because of the huge growth over 45 years, we’ve been divided 4 times. We only have 2 farmers in our district. They have more modern machinery. The homes shops also have more modern conveniences.
As a mother and grandmother what if any concerns do you have for the next generations?
My biggest fear for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren is that they may become slaves to our government. Our forefathers died so they and we also could have the freedom to worship Jesus Christ.
You write that certain things about being Amish have been harder to pick up than others, such as language. At this point are you treated much differently than others in your community?
I must admit our family was at times treated differently, but as the years have passed we’re treated very kindly.
What would you advise someone seeking the Amish?
Whether you’re Amish or not you need to repent, ask Jesus Christ our Savior to come and live within your heart. Read the Bible everyday and be obedient to His Word. Seek a real Bible-believing church. The Lord may want you to become an Amish Christian. NOT Just anyone can do this.
Do you know others who have joined the Amish?
Yes, two married families who live 10 miles from us. Another man who was in his 70’s wanted to marry an Amish widow. He joined the Amish faith, married her and had a wonderful life. They have both passed away.
Can you tell us about the reception of your book? How have you promoted it? Where can we get a copy?
My book was received exceptionally well. I self-published but have sold over 6 thousand. I sent wholesale brochures to different stores in 3 states. I have books in some resturants near my home, but the biggest resturant is in Sarasota, Florida, called Troyer’s Dutch Heritage.
My book is available on Amazon as an E-book only. A person can order from Faith View Books (Millersburg, Ohio), Gospel Book Store (Berlin, Ohio), Gospel Shop (Sugarcreek, Ohio), or direct from me at Marlene C. Miller, 9082 Cement Bridge Rd., Dundee OH 44624.
**A little more info on ordering (thanks Linda)**: If someone wants to order a book directly from Marlene Miller, the price is $14.99, plus 3.00 shipping. Ohio residents add 6 1/2% tax. She accepts check or money order, and yes, she will autograph her book for you. Her phone is 866-660-2332. Marlene said she will gladly send you a book; she will gladly send 2 books if you want!