Theological Reflection from a Wesleyan Perspective

Thursday, December 23, 2010

REVIEW - I am Hutterite

10:03 PM Posted by Casey Taylor
Mary-Ann Kirby takes us into the little known world of the Hutterites in her aptly titled memoir I am Hutterite. The closest point of reference for most readers are Mennonites or the Amish. Like these, Hutterites live communally and trace their roots to the Anabaptists of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century; unlike the others, Hutterites share material goods and wealth. Meals, work, education and worship are shared.

I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage

If this sounds like a restrictive socialist hell, it's not – at least, not in the way Kirby tells the tale of her upbringing as Hutterite in rural Canada. She reveals small communities (125 people) who enjoy life and hard work together. Like any community, Hutterite communities have their flaws and conflicts. Some of these conflicts eventually compelled Mary-Ann Kirby's family to leave the community to take their chances in the outer world, which of course presents new challenges and conflicts.

Kirby is a gifted writer and highly praised. Her memoir isn't fast-paced but it doesn't drag either. My one complaint: I wanted to hear more about the Hutterite religious life. That may be personal preference but it seems a justifiable demand given that their reason for existence is religious in nature (or, at least, their historical origin is religious in nature). But it's still a good book, especially if you're into memoir.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."