I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage
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I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,069 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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 co

203 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Polka Dot Press
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Saloma Miller
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...more
Lacey Louwagie
Krystl tempered her bad review of this book by stating that it wasn't the type of book she'd usually read, which is a fair qualification. Unfortunately, I also found this book to be below average, and it IS the type of book I like to read. I've been particularly drawn to memoirs lately, but this one falls short.

I picked the book up because there's a large Hutterite colony near where Ivan grew up in South Dakota (I found out from this book that it was actually the first Hutterite colony establish...more
This is book is very special to me. I love what Mary-Ann Kirby says in this book '...for it is only when we embrace our past that we can find true fulfillment in our future' (p.228). Her statement spells out the reason for my own search for my family's beginnings.

Mary Ann was invited by a friend to write a magazine article about Hutterite gardens. But it turned into a journey into past starting with her Hutterite beginnings. Her family lived in a Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba, Canada. Hu...more
Randi S

What's a Hutterite? Don't worry, I had no idea either. Judging the book by it's cover (I know, how awful of me), I figured it was a community of people like the Amish or Mennonite.

I was wrong and I was right. Of course the Hutterites are a community of people with the same religious, moral, and all other values. They dress the same. Their community is focused around their faiths (an anabaptist faith like Amish and Mennonite). And they are only found in cer...more
Krystl Louwagie
Once again, I don't feel as though the low star rating is completely fair here-this isn't really the type of book I'd be overly interested in, so it wasn't really written for me. No surprise that I didn't enjoy it a lot. But my mind was open to being interested in it, just not held that well. In general, I like books that aren't like real life, or books that I learn something from (like textbooks, and glorified textbooks). Not so much the in-between. I thought that perhaps this would fall into t...more
I had never heard of the Hutterite sect before our book club decided to read "I am Hutterite" by Mary-Ann Kirkby. Founded in the 16th century in Moravia, they emigrated to the United States in the late 19th century. Because they are conscientious objectors, entire Hutterite colonies moved in Canada at the time of WWI. They live in "colonies" that typically max out at 150 members. Similar in some ways to the Amish and the Mennonites, the Hutterites are different in that they have a committment to...more
Jade Lauron
A little sticker shocked at first, ten bucks for a book just over 200 pages long? I decided I'd return it if I wasn't quite pleased with the book. I also thought Hutterites were some kind of Amish offshoot, which only goes to show you how totally ignorant I was.

So I learned quite a bit, and I've decided to keep the book, even though I still think the price is a bit steep. It's a good book, but still a seven dollar good book. On the other hand, since it's probably the only book she writes, and si...more
About twenty pages into this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but by page 50 I was hooked and I had a hard time putting it down. I was drawn to this book because I like reading about things that are different from what I know or experience. I think the author has a unique viewpoint, having lived the Hutterite way of life and then living in the world as I know it.

I found reading about a culture that I knew nothing about so interesting. I live in a province that has a lot of Hutterites i...more
So first, a caveat: at first glance, this is totally a chick book. I started reading it because, well, it was free (see the legal jargon below) and I am a fan of book books and freeness. The blurb on the back cover and the various promotions given make it seem as if the book is about a young girl's struggle to fit in to "English" society after leaving a Hutterite colony in Canada.
However, that was not the case at all. The book is instead mostly a narrative of life as a Hutterite. Of the 235 page...more
Interesting, yet somehow lacking.

I admit I was interested in learning about the Hutterite people, and their way of life. This book is written by a woman who was raised as a Hutterite until her parents left the community when she was 10 years old. Then we learn of her struggles to fit into the "English" world, where even things as simple as mayonnaise are foreign to her.

In the end though this book just seemed to peter out, without any real wrap up or conclusion. Maybe that is how her life was. S...more
The fifth book provided to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review was I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby.
This book took me a long time to get through. There were so many characters and I really had a hard time following. It wasn't until I was more than halfway through the book that I realized there was a family tree and a Hutterite Language Glossary at the back of the book. Had I noticed that earlier, it would have helped immensely.
Reading about the Hutterites and how they live: feeling so she...more
**I'll refrain from rating since I didn't complete** I wanted to read this so badly, just to get a glimpse into the Hutterite colony in Canada and learn about the sect. Yet the first three chapters start in the third person narrative, and deals with Mary's mother (also named Mary). Every time a memoir doesn't start with first person, it loses me. Maybe I'll revisit after clearing my shelf?...
Leigh Gaston
Fascinating glimpse into a different culture.

I enjoyed this book immensely. The author takes what could be a very dry telling of facts and information about the Hutterite culture and weaves a story of her heritage and childhood that is quite fascinating to read. I learned much about the Hutterite history and culture and realize that they are quite different (particulary their use of modern conveniences - appliances, vehicles, etc.) than the Amish with whom I would have lumped them together.

The e...more
Should be read by anyone who has encountered Hutterites. This memoir will teach you more about the culture than anything else you've ever encountered.

Heart-felt, and interesting.
I am religious (no pun intended) about completing the books I start, but I couldn't finish "I am Hutterite." I have had this book for several years and have picked it up on numerous occasions, but after my most recent attempt, I have decided that it's just not compelling enough for me to finish.

It's a shame because I am so interested in Anabaptist (Mennonite, Amish, Hutterite, etc.) sects. I am disappointed in this book more than anything else; I was unimpressed with the quality of the writing,...more
Got bogged down in the superfluous details about Hutterite dress, wedding customs, and genealogical history. Reads more like anthropology than a memoir.
Nanette Johansen
An overall good read. I visited an Hutterite colony while in Montana recently and they intrigued me. This was just the view I was looking for.
Courtney Oppel
Having grown up seeing the local Hutterites flood the box stores once a month and sell their highly praised produce at farmer's markets during the summer, I couldn't resist picking up a book written by a Hutterite, in which she provides vignettes of her life. Kirkby's story is a welcome glimpse into this otherwise closed society, and she talks of her community with openness, honesty, and respect. I appreciated learning about the history and current make-up of these communities, as well as their...more
Lora Lee Hensel
I am glad I read this book about a family who left the comfort and security of a Hutterite Colony to make their own living on a farm in Canada. I chose to read this book because of a school day I spent observing and assisting in a Hutterite Colony school near Yankton, SD (BonHomme). A young man at the colony toured me (and the other teachers) through their agricultural and food preparation areas showing us a highly functional community. As a teacher, I came away discouraged by the school communi...more
Shari Larsen
What is a Hutterite? From Wikipedia: Hutterites (German: Hutterer) are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Since the death of their founder Jakob Hutter in 1536, the beliefs of the Hutterites, especially living in a community of goods and absolute pacifism, have resulted in hundreds of years of odyssey through many countries. Nearly extinct by the 18th and 19th centuries, the Hutterites found a new...more
I had never heard of Hutterites before this book and, like most, was only passing familiar with the other two anabaptist faiths: Amish and Mennonite. As an audiobook this worked wonderfully, just enough detail and dialogue to keep you interested without letting the mind wander. The author also shares her unique story of living in a Hutterite community as a child only to leave it at age 10 for the "English" world. Despite her young age, I believe the author tries hard to make an honest comparison...more
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An engaging memoir of a childhood spent in communal living at a Hutterite colony and then coming to terms with a families move away from it. Fairly matter of fact descriptions. Neither glamorizes or demonizes. Like Mennonite in a Little Black Dress though does not reveal whether the author was baptized in the faith or not, which seems strange given the centrality of adult baptism to Anabaptist traditions generally. Perhaps not surprising though given this author's explanation that Hutterites don...more
I have to be honest. I had never heard of Hutterites before. I know of Amish and Mennonite communities around me, but just never have had the opportunity to meet someone who is Hutterite. The religions are very different from what I understand.

I’ve posted before about how I really enjoy learning about different religions and because of that I was excited to read this book. Mary-Ann Kirkby delivered with this book. It is excellent in it’s description of the Hutterite community and how they live t...more

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it's a glimpse into a fascinating religion and culture that I had previously never heard of. On the other hand, it's just not that well-written.

The Hutterites are an Anabaptist sect (Mennonites and Amish are different Anabaptist traditions). They live communally, adhere to a strict religious lifestyle, and speak a German dialect. I had never read anything about the Hutterites before, and Kirkby's book succeeded in sparking my interest in th...more
Follow the author Mary-Ann Kirkby through her childhood living on a Hutterite colony in Manitoba, Canada. An autobiography written in the form of an intriguing novel, I am Hutterite brings the reader back to a women’s heritage. Through three generations of Hutterites, Mary-Ann’s family was a part of the Hutterite people until one day her father decided to pack up and leave. The incredible journey that follows her family is a true testimony of faith and believing in hope and forgiveness. I am Hut...more
Mary-Ann Kirkby's memoir of her life in a Hutterite colony gives an excellent overview of this communal fundamentalist Christian group, which has colonies throughout the US and Canadian prairies. Similar to the Amish or Mennonites, the Hutterites live in a large communal colonies like the Shakers. I found the communal aspects of this religion, established in 1528, intriguing. The religion's success is based on the natural efficiencies of a large group of people working together. When Kirby's par...more

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Book Review: I Am Hutterite, by Mary-Ann Kirkby
About Mary-Ann

Mary-Ann Kirkby is an award-winning author, whose first book, I Am Hutterite chronicles her childhood experiences of life on a Hutterite colony and the aftermath of leaving community life.

A former journalist, she began her career in Dauphin, Manitoba as a news anchor and reporter and later was appointed senior reporter responsible for aboriginal issues at CTV in Prince Albert. From 1993-1996, she worked in Ottawa...more
Clockstein Lockstein
I Am Hutterite by Mary Ann Kirkby is a stunningly beautiful story of a woman's retracing her family's history to make sense of her life. The author spent the first ten years of her life living in a Hutterite community in Manitoba, Canada, like three generations of her family before her. The Hutterites are a religious group that live communal life with no personal property. With the motto: work makes life sweet, labor is a natural part of life for all ages. All money earned is contributed to the...more
I was very intrigued by this book, since my sister and her family live in Southern Alberta and we very often see Hutterites in the local stores, particularly WalMart. We also currently live in Lancaster Count, PA where there is a very large Amish and Mennonite community. I was curious as to the similarities and differences between these three cultural groups.

This book is beautifully written. It is also very fair. Sometimes when people write a book about having left a religion/culture group their...more
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