A Book Review
About a week ago, Thomas Nelson Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of the book I Am Hutterite, by Mary Ann Kirkby because I agreed to do a book review of it. I was thrilled at the opportunity to do this as it combines both my love of reading AND of writing and a free book just made it all the more exciting for me. I Am Hutterite is not a book I would have picked up off the shelves on first glance, which makes me all the more happy to do this review because I have to say – the book was delightful. If you enjoy this type of read, I wouldn’t want you to miss out on it.
Just as a point of reference if you aren’t familiar with “Hutterite” ( I wasn’t). It is a religious community of people much like Mennonites or Amish colonies (of which I am familiar), with one of the biggest differences, in short, being that Hutterites practice communal living – shared responsibilities, shared possessions. They are mostly located in the Pacific Northwest. This true story is written by a woman who began her life in an Hutterite colony and enjoyed the predictability, security and relationships within it. However, events occur that result in her family leaving her beloved community – uprooting the author at age ten, and plunging her into a modern society that she is completely unprepared for.
Her story chronicles the history of her family in the Hutterite Community and takes us on a journey of self-discovery as she navigates through her young life learning to deal with prejudice and doing without, and the lessons she learns about the value of a strong faith, hardwork, family and forgiveness. The honesty of her story is raw and emotional and I just wanted to sit and hold her hand as I read. The voice of her writing is easy to listen to, as if she is sitting at the table with you telling her story over a cup of tea (or several) and at the same time full of rich detail about day to day tasks so that I could picture being there on the prairie with her. At times I envied her simple life in the Hutterite colony, and at others – completely horrified. Even more difficult, though, was reading her transition into life away from the colony. I am so glad she has so openly shared her life with us. I believe we can be reminded of the important values in our own lives as we delve into hers.
I’ll give this book a 4 out 5 stars on the Beth Blog–o-meter. You can read more about this book here.