Book Review: I Am Hutterite

The Book: I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby

The Blurb: Ann-Marie Dornn was born into a reclusive and extraordinary Hutterite colony near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. This religious community was an idyllic place for a growing young girl, filled with adventure, strong bonds of friendship, rich delicious food, and a deep sense of belonging. But for her parents, it had become a community teeming with tension and conflict.

So in 1969, her parents did the unthinkable. They left the colony with seven children, and little else, to start a new life. Overnight the Dornns were thrust into a society they did not understand and that knew little of their unique culture. The transition was overwhelming. Desperate to be accepted, ten-year-old Ann-Marie was forced to deny her heritatge in order to fit in with her peers. She kept her secret well into adulthood, hoping to avoid the prejudice so associated with her culture.

I Am Hutterite chronicles her quest to come to terms with a painful past. Rich with memorable characters and vivid descriptions, this ground-breaking narrative shines a light on intolerance, illuminating the simple truth that beneath every human exterior beats a heart longing for understanding and acceptance.

The Babble: This book was an absolutely fascinating look into a world I had not previously known existed. After reading Ms. Kirkby’s memoir I longed to experience the simple, secure life of shared work, raising of families, worship and fellowship. And while I admired little Ann-Marie’s parent’s decision to stand by their beliefs and leave the colony, I mourned with the whole family. The author’s love for the colony is palpable and while the post-flight, ‘English’ part of the story is compelling, it was not as vivid with the color and detail of the Hutterite world. I applaud the family’s obvious success in the non-Hutterite world, but I can’t help but wonder why no one ever returned. Even I miss it and I only read a book.

The Behest: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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