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I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to reclaim Her Heritage [Kindle Edition]

Mary-Ann Kirkby
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
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Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing

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Book Description

A Fascinating journey into the heart and culture of a reclusive religious community.

I Am Hutterite takes readers into the hidden heart of the little-known Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba where author Mary-Ann Kirkby spent her childhood. When she was ten years old her parents packed up their seven children and a handful of possessions and left the security of the colony to start a new life. Overnight they were thrust into a world they didn't understand, a world that did not understand them.

Before she left the colony Mary-Ann had never tasted macaroni and cheese or ridden a bike. She had never heard of Walt Disney or rock-and-roll. She was forced to reinvent herself, denying her heritage to fit in with her peers. With great humor, Kirkby describes how she adapted to popular culture; and with raw honesty her family's deep sense of loss for their community. More than a history lesson, I Am Hutterite is a powerful tale of retracing steps and understanding how our beginnings often define us. 

Controversial and acclaimed by the Hutterite community, Kirkby's book unveils the rich history and traditions of her people, giving us a rare and intimate portrait of an extraordinary way of life.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sweeping prairie memoir, self-published in Canada in 2007, rapidly garnered both commercial and literary applause. Recounting the author's journey from a Hutterite girlhood to an adolescence of desperate striving to catch up with fashions of the time, the book manages to pack information about Hutterite life into a coming-of-age narrative without slowing it down. Kirkby's family moved away from their Manitoba colony when she was 10 years old, after what she calls a near idyllic childhood in the cradle of a communal society. Once a reader commits the many characters and their relationships to each other to memory, the book becomes as riveting and well-paced as a novel. Kirkby captures the complex cadences of Hutterite life—the bawdy humor and knack for storytelling that stands beside austere ritual, the poverty of personal possession and freedom that exists beside the security of community life—with pitch-perfect writing. She also manages to avoid either vilifying or romanticizing a culture that has been subjected to both. Readers will find themselves hoping that Kirkby follows the popular trend in memoir writing: producing a sequel. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Journalist and award-winning author MARY-ANN KIRKBY covered aboriginal issues for CTV and served as media relations consultant for the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. She has won Can-Pro Awards for political reporting and for hosting a children's program. Kirkby lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan with her husband and son.

Product Details

  • File Size: 857 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0849946433
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 4, 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003LSTAE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,948 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was riveted by this memoir May 4, 2010
I read this book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down... knowing that it was a true story propelled me to read it, the author's gift for sharing of herself and her life kept me riveted. I have always been fascinated by cultures that exist in modern times under different rules - I lived in Southwestern Ontario not far from several Mennonite communities and watched their ability to integrate into the modern world without embracing it and love to read stories about Amish and other societies, so when I got an opportunity to read I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage I jumped at the chance and wasn't disappointed.

I love that she was able to find and integrate photographs of herself and her family to illustrate her life and her journey and that she was brave enough to share personal glimpses of herself and her best friend through original letters and recollections. My only two criticisms are that I want a sequel delving more into how she is reclaiming her roots and integrating the Hutterite teachings into her modern world and that she didn't include more yummy recipes... this book talked quite a bit about the wonderful food that was eaten by the Hutterite collective and my mouth watered for days...

I highly recommend that you check out I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage if you are interested in biographies of women, or even if you are just drawn to the subject like me.

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."
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hutterite Story September 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A Hutterite Story

It was several years after I left the Amish that I first heard about Hutterites through a magazine article. At the time I was astonished that there could be a third branch of Anabaptists that I had never heard about during my 23 years of living in an Amish community. (The other two are Amish and Mennonites). Since then I have read more articles about Hutterites, but I was always left wanting for more information, which left an air of mystery and intrigue around them -- I imagine much the same way most people feel about the Amish. (Except maybe even more so, for unlike the Amish, the Hutterites live on cloistered colonies, which does not include anyone who is not Hutterite.) After learning about this culture, I wished I knew someone who grew up on a Hutterite colony, or at least that I'd have the opportunity to read a story by a Hutterite.

I found just such a story when I recently read "I Am Hutterite" by Mary-Ann Kirkby. In this beautifully rendered story, she serves her readers a slice of life on the colony from her perspective of a young child after her mother had given birth to a younger sibling:

"As soon as she arrived home from the hospital, Mother entered "die Wuchen," a six-week period of special treatment extended to women after the birth of each child. This included a nine-week exemption from colony duty. Peterana was the cook for nursing mothers, and she delivered delicacies to our house every day. Rich foods like "Nukkela Suppen" (buttery dumplings), waffles soaked in whiskey, and plump cuts of chicken were carried over from the community kitchen in bowls and stainless-steel pails.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Memoir May 2, 2010
I received a copy of I Am Hutterite to review by means of Thomas Nelson's website ([...]). I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby is the true story of Kirkby's own transition at age ten from life in a close-knit and isolated Hutterite colony in Canada to life in the outside "English" world. The first two-thirds of the book engage the reader in Hutterite life, familiarizing us with the daily chores, the unique traditions, and the bonds that form as a part of communal living. Just as we become comfortable and content with Kirkby in her Hutterite life, her parents decide to uproot the family as the result of an unresolved, harmful conflict with the head minister of the colony. We accompany Kirkby as she adjusts and discovers who she is apart from the expectations of the colony and those of the English world.

In general I really enjoyed this book. I had never heard of Hutterites before (and am still not really sure how to pronounce "hutterite"), but I found Kirkby's description of life in the colony fascinating and idyllic, seen through the eyes of youth. I felt the first third of the book was hampered by an odd third-person omniscient viewpoint (as Kirkby explained her family history by means of story) and I found myself a bit annoyed by her wordy explanations, telling me how people felt, without nurturing the story to show me why events played out the way they did. However, once Kirkby was born, the transition to first-person narration seemed natural and I was drawn into the story, experiencing her hardships and confusion, and in the end, learning along with her that freedom and purposeful contentment are up to every person, regardless of the situation in which they find themselves. I recommend I Am Hutterite to anyone interested in Hutterites, coming-of-age stories, or intriguing memoirs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 19 days ago by Cindy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good insight to Hutterite society. Enjoyable read.
Published 22 days ago by Albert
4.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book
I had never heard of the Hutterires before reading this book. It is an enjoyable book about the joys and trials of a Hutterite family and their community - an admirable community... Read more
Published 29 days ago by BILLIE LECRONE
5.0 out of 5 stars I have found myself reflecting on the contents of this ...
I have found myself reflecting on the contents of this book and randomly sharing bits and pieces in company. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars No Reclaiming Her Heritage, Still a Lively and Charming Memoir
This interesting story does not live up to its title. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It is straight-up memoir, full of the range of experiences of a human life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Hutterites
Very informative and interesting. A culture that I not familiar with.
Published 1 month ago by Kathy E. Bartunek
5.0 out of 5 stars but highly recommended
Haven't read it yet, but highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by Laurel Lewellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Hutterite to English
This was a most fascinating story of this girl's life as a Hutterite. Starting back with her grandparents and the different communities and when why and who changed to another... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Linda Knott
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting book
I always like to know about the life and story from different people and in my case coming from other country was very interesting to read about the Hutterite , costumes and the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Heli Abad
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
My first read about Hutterites, I think she gave a real honest look at the life style and struggles of being in the community as well as being away. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lareena Enquist
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More About the Author

Mary-Ann Kirkby spent the first ten years of her life in a Hutterite Colony in Manitoba, Canada. In 1969 her parents did the unthinkable. They uprooted their 7 children and left the only life they had ever known, thrusting them into a society they did not understand and which did not understand them. Mary-Ann's transition into popular culture is both heartbreaking and hilarious. An award-winning television journalist, Mary-Ann learned the fine art of storytelling at the knees of her gifted Hutterite teachers. She lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

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