Sunday, August 1, 2010

Review: I Am Hutterite

I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage
Mary-Ann Kirkby
Thomas Nelson (2010), Hardcover, 224 pages

‘Levi, - I begin, searching for the right words, - there is a little boy buried here. His name is Renie, and he is my brother.’ (p. xxii)

Levi is the son of Mary-Ann Kirkby, the author of I Am Hutterite, who asks his mother ‘Are you a Hutterite?’, and as all the questions of every child arrives without notice, so starts Mary-Ann’s journey in the past. This book recounts her Hutterite family story.
The Hutterite way of life and faith was born in the sixteenth century among several refugees from Switzerland, Germany, and Tirol. During the nineteenth century Hutterite people emigrates to the United States and Canada.
Dornns family follows all the ‘iron’ rules of the colony where they live, but something happened to change everything. After several squabbles between the chief of the colony and Mary-Ann‘s father, the Dornns escaped from the colony toward an unknown world.

Everybody has seen the movie ‘Witness’ a 1985 American thriller movie directed by Peter Weir and main character played by Harrison Ford. I think from this movie started all the curiosity about these communities. From Witness we know about Amish people, but almost everything is similar to the Hutterite colonies.
Everybody has also studied at school the reformation movements of sixteenth century,
but while reading this book we get to know the private life of a Hutterite colony, especially the feelings of these people, the meaning of their way of life, and their

‘way of looking at the world, and unmistakable candor’

(p. 234)

So I Am Hutterite enlightens about a world not included in the general globalization; it keeps you thinking about progress: Do we really need progress? Although Mary-Ann Kirkby admits and writes the inevitable call of the progress. About this ideas I’d like to quote a passage:

’She wore neither makeup nor jewelry; both were forbidden. In a culture that stressed an inner adornment of the heart, her smile would be enough.’ (p. 20)

We have always thought about our world (the ‘mainstream’) full of freedom, but Mary-Ann surprisingly wrote:

‘I was the happy Hutterite girl, free from dress code and protocol of the English world.’ (p. 175)

The best parts: Chapter 5 Renie (pages 69-86) and the pages were Mary-Ann and her siblings play baseball against all the other classmates (p. 185).

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publisher as part of their book review blogger 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.

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