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I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage [Paperback]

Mary-Ann Kirkby
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1 2010

In 1969, Mary-Ann Kirkby’s parents did the unthinkable. They left a Hutterite colony near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, with seven children and little else, to start a new life. Overnight, the family was thrust into a society they did not understand and which knew little of their unique culture. The transition was overwhelming.

More than 40,000 Hutterites live on 400 colonies throughout the U.S. and Canada’s Prairie provinces. Spiritual cousins to the Mennonites and the Amish, this 500-year-old culture with European roots has been in North America since the late 1800s, yet few outsiders know anything about its customs or traditions.

I Am Hutterite

takes you inside Fairholme Colony, where Kirkby spent the first ten years of her life. Her detailed portrait of Hutterian people opens a window on a closedcommunity and reveals a way of life that seems extraordinary to the outside world.

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Product Description


"A superb memoir... this has the makings of a prairie classic." - AWARD JURY, SASK BOOK AWARDS

"Honest, strong, clear, direct, it opens the door on what has been for so many of us a completely closed world." - WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Journalist and award-winning author MARY-ANN KIRKBY covered aboriginal issues for CTV and served as media relations consultant for the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. She has won Can-Pro Awards for political reporting and for hosting a children's program. Kirkby lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan with her husband and son.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read! July 6 2010
By Johanna
I Am Hutterite left me with a warm feeling in my heart. My father built refrigerated coolers for a number of colonies in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan in the 50's and 60's, perhaps the same ones that Mary-Ann Kirkby was part of, and would always come home with his arms full of chicken, eggs, bread and other fruits of the industry of the Hutterites. They became his friends, and I often saw them uptown, although I was too shy to talk to them. Now, in Mary-Ann's well-written and absorbing account I feel like I have made a new friend. Despite the human flaws of some of its adult members, life on the colony for a small child was a happy protected haven where love could grow, and despite the difficulties of adapting later to the outside world, I feel Mary-Ann is the richer for it. I feel her book is a valuable contribution to the history of Western Canada, and an aid to understanding these other-wise reclusive people. As someone who has myself spent eight years living in community as a nun, I identify in part with some of her experiences. Although ultimately I left my community as well, it was a wonderful formative, humorous, mystical time that will always remain with me. People who are gathered together, sharing deeply felt beliefs and goals based in love, can only help make our world a better place. My recently published memoir, entitled 'Graffiti On My Soul' is also available on Amazon for those who like to read of a different life, a different time, a different place. Johanna
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4.0 out of 5 stars I am Hutterite May 22 2010
I was given this book by Thomas Nelson to review. The author, Mary-Ann Kirkby recounts her time within the Hutterite colony as a child. She paints a powerful picture of the lives of the individuals that have impacted her during this impressionable stage. Ms. Kirkby allows us to understand the decisions made by the Hutterite in their chosen approach to life. We are permitted an in-depth look at the clothing, relationships and religious passion that makes up the colony. In order for this detailed examination, Ms. Kirkby exposes her inner most fears and joys in a passionate fashion that creates a bond between the reader and the author. We are able to picture not only of the depiction mentally but physically as well.
This novel answers the questions that I have had in regards to the Hutterites. While I find it disturbing in places on how different their lives are from conventional society, I find it a breath of fresh air to know that the same difficulties arise in their lives as in the lives of what is considered a typical lifestyle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wait to read it again! July 11 2010
I must tell you I loved this book! I could not put it down. I learned so many interesting things about the Hutterite culture. I had no idea that they pooled their resources and shared their assets. I love that each member of the community has a job to do and that the function of the colony is so well organized. I actually found myself thinking that Hutterite living just might be a great idea (then I remembered how much I love my ipod and my SUV).

I highly recommend reading I am Hutterite. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it ended and I wanted the story to go on.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unbelievable incite into Colony and segregated life from mainstream society and the emotions felt when a family leaves that lifestyle and works to make it on their own. Wonderful look into not only the good sides of the Colony lifestyle but also the bad. Wonderful, emotional story that made me want to reach out and hug the little girl the Author used to be. A book I couldn`t put down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I love reading true stories Sept. 17 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love reading true stories, and I Am Hutterite is proving to be very enjoyable and giving me a glimpse of a simpler life and a perhaps more fulfilling life, compared to the life that many of live in our technological society.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I've Read in a Long Time... May 17 2010
Mary-Ann Kirkby is a wonderful writer. Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. Reading her memoir is like reminiscing with a close friend. Having grown up in Winnipeg, I often saw the Hutterites in the Sears and Woolco department stores, and wondered about these odd people who looked like they stepped out of the 18th century. My grandparents knew a lot about the Hutterites, given our family's German Baptist heritage. Looking back, it is amusing to think the the Hutterites would have thought of my very strict, religious grandparents as being "English". Mary-Ann's account gave me a pretty good idea of what life was probably like for my great great grandparents in the German farming communites in Poland and Russia. All in all, a wonderful book, probably the best I have ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read! July 13 2014
By Gramsie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved the in depth look at a culture that seems so 'off the grid', to me. Mary-Ann presented her story in such a way that she brought out the good, the not-so-good and the human side of the Hutterites. If you have ever been curious about the Hutterites and their Colony's this is the book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 11 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written
Extremely interesting stories and cultural insight into Hutterites.
Published 1 month ago by K. Vanderpool
5.0 out of 5 stars love the story
Absolutely great story , loved it . Can relate a lot to it . Can't wait to read the next one
Published 2 months ago by jay
3.0 out of 5 stars so so
The first half of the book was very intriguing to me but I found the last half of the book not as interesting.
Published 2 months ago by Zealot
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Was a good read, written to be an easy but kept interest . Always interesting to learn how others live and their believes.
Published 3 months ago by Norma
4.0 out of 5 stars but then got better. Could not put it down
Sarted off a little confusing with the characters, but then got better. Could not put it down.
Published 3 months ago by Wilfred Fiebich
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful story
We were talking about books one night and my neighbour handed me I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby and he said, "You must read this." So I did. What a wonderful read this was! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cathy Olliffe-Webster
4.0 out of 5 stars I Am Hutterite
Good description of life on a colony. Well written. Great book to help you visualize the setting, emotions and daily life of the people.
Published 14 months ago by Jeanette Viola
5.0 out of 5 stars I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey...
Mary-Ann has portrayed the Hutterite culture in a personal way. I was so happy to learn of this book from a Public Health nurse who has in her territory a Hutterite colony close... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Janice Nachtigall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Service
Ordered this book just before Christmas and it came in the mail shortly and in perfect shape. It was my first order on Amazon and I am now a Amazon shopper.
Published on Jan. 16 2012 by Lane Jane
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