Emma Gingerich left her Amish community in Eagleville, Mo., at the age of 18. Disagreeing with the beliefs of Amish traditions and upbringing, she made a personal decision that forced her to find the courage to leave the only life she'd ever known. She fled across the country to a family in Harlingen, Texas. The emotional turmoil she'd unknowingly inflict upon herself, family and friends was gut wrenching.

Gingerich has written about that time in her life in a new book, "Runaway Amish: the Great Escape," which offers a rare glimpse into the life of a brave young woman. She will be signing copies of her book at the Spring Grove Public Library on Wednesday, April 23, at 7 p.m.

Considered no longer a daughter or a sister and temporarily exiled, Gingerich found her freedom. Placing a priority on her education, she found a place in an "English" world. After settling in Texas, hoping to help others, Gingerich decided to write her memoir. Her story will appeal to a variety of readers, both young and old.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the book signing event or one can order it online at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

"Emma Gingerich's memoir of her escape from the Amish into the "outside world" is simply breathtaking!," write editor David C. Hughes. "Ms. Gingerich proves she's a natural storyteller despite being raised in a society replete with repression and ignorance, and as I read her story I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't a novel but a true-life experience."