Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: I am Hutterite by Mary - Ann Kirkby

I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage
This biography is the story of a young girl who lives within a Hutterite colony where she has a real sense of community and relationship.  However all of this changes when her parents decide that it’s in their families’ best interests to leave.  She and her family face both rejection and challenges from both the colony and her new “world” but through determination, friendship and some quick thinking she overcomes and establishes her own identity.
I am a reluctant biography reader (too many prescribed books at university and school) but this one was remarkably different.  I was captivated by life on the Hutterite colony – the sense of community, simplicity and deep friendship and family bonds.  In fact it appealed to a latent longing in my soul to revert back to a lifestyle where we are governed less by technology and lives that are so busy that we forget about those around us.

At times I was reminded of my own childhood struggles of rejection and the pecking order at schools I have attended.  Her easy to read writing style, reminded me of a diary and I found that I was quickly lost in her beautiful descriptions of the colony and relationships fraught with misunderstandings and differences.  What amazed me the most was that though she had every reason to despise her colony and the people there, she returns time and time again to visit her friends and family.  She even goes as far as to thank those at the colony who helped her remember some of her experiences and stories .  I think that this is what makes this biography so unique, there seems to be no hint of bitterness at those that have wronged her family but rather a gracious acceptance of their differences.
 I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage

1 comment:

  1. Mel, I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that you reviewed a book about Hutterites. They are a little-know sect of people living in Colonies predominantly in Montana (USA) and Alberta and Saskatchewan (Canada). How did you happen upon a Hutterite book? I have very good friends who are practicing Hutterites living in a colony approximately 60 miles from where I live in Great Falls, Montana,USA. My Hutterite friends Rachel and Mary Kleinsasser would love to exchange letters with anyone in SA or elsewhere who would be interested in learning more about colony life etc. They are very open and honest about every aspect of their lives within the colony and they love to write letters. Mel, with your permission I could leave my email address as a point of contact for anyone interested in corresponding with Rachel and Mary. They are unmarried sisters of a large family, Mary is 47 and Rachel is 57. Their brother lives on the colony but their other sisters married into other colonies. If you or anybody else would be interested I can contact the colony teacher (each colony has a two room school that goes up to 8th grade) and ask if they would like to set up a pen-pal project with any interested children.


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