I'm not Hutterite, not that there is anything wrong with that, but that is the name of the book. Now I don't think I could live as a Hutterite what with the loose dresses and polka-dotted kerchiefs. Although after reading this book it makes me want to join them at the essenstuben to eat some schenken and schmond wacken while wearing my fittig and holding my korb.
Having lived around the Hutterite colonies in Montana I had no idea what comprised their doctrine or history. Mary-Ann Kirkby did a wonderful job of taking me into the Hutterite world seen through her eyes as a child. Her book I Am Hutterite, was sent to me by Thomas Nelson Press to review.
She gives enough history and background into the community and beliefs that as her own story progresses you can actually place yourself in her shoes. She pulls the reader into the anguish of being torn from the only life she had known and then thrust into the world of the English. You see first hand that the utopian concept isn’t that at all but the same politics and egocentric struggles as all communities.
Even though her family left the community when she was a child she still struggles with the comfort and familiarity of commune life. She writes in such a way that you can empathize with her longing for the comfort of the routine and the need to fit into the outside world.
I have to be honest here; I had a tough time getting through this book. It did not take hold of me and spit me out at the last page. No, instead it was much like a thorn which would pain me when I saw the book lying on the table. I would feel the need to pick it up and read another chapter.
I don’t know that I would recommend this as beach or pool-side reading but if you are looking for some insight into the Hutterite communities this is an excellent choice.
I had the opportunity to not only visit a community but to also interact with the Hutterites in Montana. They were friendly, inquisitive and raise some damn fine chickens and turkeys.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com