Friday, March 27, 2015

I am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage by Mary-Ann Kirkby

While recently browsing a list of books I saw this particular title but was unfamiliar with the term Hutterite. My curiosity being what it is, I was determined to check it out to learn more.

In the 16th century an Austrian named Jacob Hutter embraced the concept of shared property and communal living and founded the Hutterite faith. After enduring years of persecution, members from the sect fled Europe and settled in northwestern North America.

It is this heritage that journalist Mary-Ann Kirkby hails from and upon which she reflects and shares her compelling tale. Shortly after a 2002 return visit to her former Hutterite colony, Kirkby resolved that it was time to tell her story. And it’s an especially fascinating and absorbing one at that, where she fondly yet honestly details the intricacies of the Hutterite way of life.

As Kirkby recounts growing up in Fairholme Colony, a tight-knit Hutterite community in Manitoba, she describes the group’s practice of communal sharing of work as well as food, where personal possessions are few and freedom rather limited. Increasing tensions within the community prompted her parents to leave the colony when she was 10 years old. The family faced countless challenges as they struggled to adjust to life in the outside world. Kirkby’s adolescent schooldays were filled with ridicule for how she talked, dressed and what she ate. Follow her remarkable journey as she maneuvered through two very different cultures. This beautifully written and heartfelt memoir is one you will not want to put down.

I am Hutterite is available from VBPL as an eBook. You might also be interested in Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women by Cindy Woodsmall.

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