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Grad writes book on 'escaping' the Amish
Author Emma Gingerich

Tarleton State University

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

STEPHENVILLE, Texas –Emma Gingerich, a Tarleton alumna now pursuing a master’s at Tarleton, has penned a book detailing her leaving her Amish family in Missouri and making her way to Texas.

In an interview in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, Gingerich said she began thinking about running away from home when she was 15. At 18, she left her entire family and the only life she'd ever known in the middle of the night.

“I knew in my heart at 15 that it wasn't right for me, nothing felt right and I was so unhappy,” she recalled. “I tried everything to find something to make me happy. I tried dating like my friends who were finding their happiness in the Amish way of life. But nothing worked.”

After leaving, she stayed in hiding in Missouri for two weeks with a family who were also formerly Amish.

“I don't know what I would have done without all those who helped me, then and now,” she said. “Without those people I would have never been able to realize how much happier I could be.”

She ended up in South Texas where she got an associate’s degree from Texas State Technical College in Harlingen before enrolling at Tarleton.

She began writing her story and on New Year's Day 2014, was contacted by a publishing company that had seen a sample of her book and wanted to publish it. The book, Runaway Amish Girl: The Great Escape, has now been published by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press. It’s available at Hastings and online at


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

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Author Emma Gingerich