Saloma Miller Furlong
Author and Speaker

Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir

is my first book



Why I Left the Amish begins with an unanticipated break in my studies during my first semester at Smith College in 2004 when my father died and I traveled back to Ohio to my childhood community for his funeral. Finding myself back in the horse and buggy world I had left twenty-four years before, and then suddenly back on Smith College campus in a matter of forty-eight hours left me reflecting on the two separate and distinct lives I have lived.

Excerpts of reviews of Why I Left the Amish

Readers thirsty for a primer on Amish life will enjoy the detail, description, and insider knowledge. Yet lurking behind customs and practices outsiders label quaint and admire for supposed simplicity are powerful forces of control, chauvinism, and cruel constraint exposed by Furlong. ~ Lisa Romeo, ForeWord Reviews

If the PBS documentary intrigued you, then you're likely to want to meet Saloma in the pages of her new memoir. While this may sound like a disturbing book, given some of the violent incidents described in the memoir, readers are likely to find themselves astonished at Saloma's graceful way of trying to make some spiritual sense of her family, their culture and her own life in both Amish and outside worlds. ~ David Crumm, ReadtheSpirit

Saloma Miller Furlong has an amazing story. The little Amish girl on the cover of her memoir and the Smith College graduate on the back cover represent two worlds. These two photos illustrate a life journey that has covered, so far, a relatively short distance in time and space, but a huge one in world view. ~ Shirley

Beginning with this Amish metaphor “…as the grains join to make the bread they give up their individuality, so must we give up our individuality to become part of the community,” Saloma chronicles practices “English” rejected with slavery, child abuse and oppression of women. ~ Debbie Salomon, Burlington Free Press

Bonnet Strings: An Amish

Woman's Ties to Two Worlds

is a sequel to my first book



Bonnet Strings is about leaving the Amish and my struggle to find my way in the outside world. It offers a rare look inside an Amish community, and yet it is a universal story of leaving home and overcoming adversity. Readers of Amish fiction, viewers of the PBS documentaries “The Amish” and “The Amish: Shunned,” and others will find in it an authentic Amish story.

Trailer for Bonnet Strings:


Excerpts of reviews of Bonnet Strings

The reader is in a conversation with Saloma from page one. The conversation isn’t one-sided, as some memoirs tend to be. It is a conversation that asks you to engage and that rewards you in return. ~ Callie T. Wiser, producer of PBS American Experience documentaries “The Amish” and “The Amish: Shunned”

In this memoir of the Bildungsroman genre, Furlong writes carefully and artfully of the inner pain and joy she experiences as she finds her way, both outside of her home community and inside it. In addition, her partner, David’s voice provides readers  with a poignant lens with which to view Furlong’s journey. ~Vi Dutcher, professor of language and literature, Eastern Mennonite University

"This story includes all the elements of a good romance: attraction, danger, secrets, beautiful scenery, obstacles, culture clashes, and old-fashioned chivalry."~ Shirley Hershey Showalter, author of Blush.

"Suspended between two cultural worlds, Saloma tells an engaging story about her struggle to decide which one to claim as her own." ~ Donald B. Kraybill, co-author of The Amish.

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