Sunday, May 16, 2010
I AM HUTTERITE
At first glimpse, I was unsure of what to expect from I AM HUTTERITE by Mary-Ann Kirkby, received from Thomas Nelson. I knew very little about the Hutterites, but this book opened my eyes to their communities. The book is told as the true story of a young girl, but it flows like a novel. I read it in one sitting; it is impossible to put down. The narrative begins by describing the girl’s mother and how she met the man she would later marry. He came from another community, and faced opposition from her people. The story continues to show the narrator’s childhood. Hutterite life is described in beautiful language. When you read, you feel like the characters come to life. Real black-and-white photographs that begin each chapter aid this imagery. As the narrator grows older, her parents become more unsettled with life in the community, especially after one of their children dies. Her parents decide to move away, and sneak off the community to live in an abandoned house. Once out in the “real world,” she faces many challenges that “English” people take for granted. For example, her mother is unable to pack standard lunches for her and she ends up collecting discarded saran wrap in order to fit in. She also learns how to deal with dressing differently than everyone else. Eventually, she connects with a Mennonite group. Her struggles are real, and more than just trying to fit in, she must embrace her culture and religion.