A fascinating journey into the heart and culture of a reclusive religious community. I Am Hutterite takes listeners into the hidden heart of the little-known Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba, where author Mary-Ann Kirkby spent her childhood. When she was 10 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.
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I loved listening to Mary-Ann tell her story in the language of the Hutterites and with the accent that has carried over from her heritage.
I was completely stunned to hear of the drastic upheaval experienced by the family when they left the Colony and its lifestyle. I never thought it could be such a drastic change, but it was a great time of change in the world in general. I grew up in the same time period as Mary-Ann did, my family was a lot like hers. I had a lot of difficulty fitting in, but I was already part of the outside world.
I said before, I loved her enunciation and accent. If only reading, this part would be lost. It adds so much to the overall story. It expresses the love they had for one another, it also explained the confusion they were living through when they left the Colony. I especially appreciated that this was Mary-Ann's story, narrated by her!
I've visited Hutterite Colonies in the United States. There were many aspects of their life that I knew of, but the details added in this story cleared away questions I never knew I had. I wanted to cry when the book ended!
LOVED, Loved, loved this story and the author/narrator. I would gladly read more of Mary-Ann Kirkby's books, if she were to write again. Especially, if she were the narrator!!!
I grew up in North Dakota near a Hutterite colony.