I love reading a well-written memoir. And I love reading about people's spiritual backgrounds and journeys. And I love delving into other cultures via the written word.
I Am Hutterite, by Mary-Ann Kirkby, delivered each of those pleasures. It is the story of a girl, born to Hutterite parents on a colony in southern Manitoba, Canada (the Hutterites are an Amish-like religious community, except more recent in development and communal in their way of life). Kirkby neither romanticizes nor denigrates the Hutterite way of life, but lets it speak for itself through her narrative. She weaves a charming tale of a little girl's friendships, experiences, and discoveries, until the time her parents made the cataclysmic decision to leave the colony when Mary-Ann was ten years old. Overnight, she and her six siblings were thrust into a world of hardship, loneliness, and even persecution. Could they make a life outside of the colony? Would they return? Could they ever experience wholeness and happiness again?
It is an entertaining and engaging personal story, but it is more than that. I Am Hutterite offers insight into a unique--and largely hidden--culture. It presents a thoughtful perspective on conflict and faith. And it reflects a needful message and model of freedom, forgiveness, and finding one's own way in spite of all the obstacles.
This book was provided for review by the publisher, Thomas Nelson Publishers.