Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book Review: I am Hutterite

I am Hutterite by Mary Ann Kirkby

First of all, I need to admit to a minor (major) obsession I had when I was a child (in high school and college.) I wanted to be Amish. I didn't just want to learn about their culture or read everything I could about them, which I did, but I wanted to actually BE Amish. I even had a brown dress that I called my Amish dress and spent an entire day at a youth convention telling people I was Amish.

So, when I was sent this book to read, I was thrilled. While Hutterites are not Amish (the biggest difference being that Hutterites do not claim ownership to anything), they live a very simple life. In 1528, Jacob Hutter, an Austrian hatmaker, led a group of refugees to the Czechoslovakia. He placed a blanket on the ground and they put all of their combined possession on the blanket. This is how the Hutterites began. The lived together, worked together, and shared everything. They based their lifestyle on Acts 2:44-45 which says, "And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." 

The first Hutterite Colony was established in the United States in South Dakota in 1874. Mary Ann Kirkby's story begins in Western Canada in 1952 when her father came to the colony where her mother lived. Her mother, Mary, told her friend, "He's mine" as soon as she saw him.

This is the story of a girl raised with one ideal and way of life drastically different than the rest of the world but then moving, with her family, away from her early years to create a new life. This book is part history, part coming of age, and part journal. While I loved the story, it was, at times, very dry reading. I felt like there were moments when the author felt she HAD to write the book. It read like it was her mission to get the story out of her head, but not necessarily intended for others to read. That did, however, give the book a raw openness that I appreciated. I did enjoy reading about a people group of whom I had no previous experience.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from to review. I did not receive monetary compensation for my opinion.


lizhasalife said...

I had the same sort of obsession, although mine leaned towards being a pioneer like Laura Ingalls. Must have been the great clothes :)

MomLovesDeals said...

haha, yeah, that must have been it. And the lack of air conditioning.

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in my blog as I try to chronicle the life of a everyday Hutterite...I was born and raised in a Hutterite colony and still live in one. I have my personal review of this book posted on my blog as well. I have somewhat of a different perspective on it.

MomLovesDeals said...

Wow, thanks!!