Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read!
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.
Published 9 days ago by Gramsie

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting life
This memoir enlightens us to the hidden world of communal living practiced by more than 10,000 Hutterites living on the prairies. Mary Ann Kirby writes of her life from childhood living in a Hutterite Community and through her young adolescent years after she left the colony when her parents "ran away".

This is a very educational read. It is a narrative, a...
Published on Sept. 12 2009 by Patricia G.


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read!, July 13 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 11 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really enjoyed the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, July 7 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Was a good read, written to be an easy but kept interest . Always interesting to learn how others live and their believes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars but then got better. Could not put it down, June 29 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sarted off a little confusing with the characters, but then got better. Could not put it down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
By 
This review is from: I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful story, Dec 5 2013
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! Heartwarming, honest and beautifully told, this was a fascinating glimpse into a part of Canadian culture that is generally hidden and misunderstood by the rest of us "english." All of it was so vividly described that I found myself wanting to sit around the communal kitchen and share in those mouthwatering meals, or attend a wedding, or walk down those sandy paths. I Am Hutterite is pure joy and I would recommend it to anyone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am Hutterite, by Mary-Ann Kirkby, May 20 2010
This review is from: I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage (Paperback)
Did you know of a community of people called the Hutterites? Nearly five thousand strong, living in both the United States and Canada?

I didn't either, until I read this book. It was sent to me for review by Thomas Nelson. Kirkby tells the story of her family, lifelong Hutterites, who eventually left the shelter of their colony and struggled to make a life for themselves in the outside world.

The main principle governing Hutterite life is the sharing of food and property. Meals are cooked communally - "twenty-five dozen buns and fifteen loaves of bread" for one colony each week. Men meet regularly to discuss major purchases which will be used for everyone's good.

Like so many things in life, this has positives and negatives. No one goes hungry, but there's no much chance of a private life either. And one day, the needs of Mary-Ann's family conflict once too often with the wishes of the colony's minister.

But the book actually starts with Mary Maendel, the author's mother, and her marriage to Ronald Dornn. While this wasn't fast-paced or dramatic, it was fascinating to read because it described the Hutterite mindset, daily life and history in detail. It's like an adult, German-influenced version of "Little House on the Prairie".

One warning, though. If you're going to try this book, please have some food on hand. I got really peckish after reading about soft cheese sprinkled with caraway seeds and waffles soaked in whiskey.

Mary Dornn's marriage resulted in seven living children, the youngest of whom was only four when her husband cut his ties with a community where his family was fed and protected but where he had almost no autonomy. For instance, he was denied permission to take a trip to visit his sisters in Ontario.

In 1969 he decided to leave, even knowing that was the most shameful thing a Hutterite could do. He had no money or bank account. He took care of the cows for the colony, keeping records of the livestock, but when he asked for one cow that request was denied too.

His daughter, the book's author, was nine years old at the time.

Life went from the busy, bustling community to the loneliness of a single family in a dilapidated house, from fresh food to outdated groceries that were cheaper. The family adapted to their first phone, baseball and McDonalds. And Mary-Ann struggled to "transform from a Hutterite nobody to an English somebody" - all the while caught between two very different worlds.

Readers may have a little difficulty telling who's who and keeping track of all the people involved, and the story isn't as dramatic as, say, Carolyn Jessop's "Escape". At times it was a little slow-moving, but then I'd come across an anecdote like this:

"Hutterite dresses didn't have pockets, so most of the women used their bras to store small items such as hairpins, safety pins and Kleenex. Esther, Annie reported, carried tea bags and sugar lumps that way too. When an outsider dropped in to see Esther's husband, she sent one of her children for him and offered the stranger a cup of tea, nonchalantly pulling a tea bag and two sugar lumps from her bosom.

When she asked whether he took cream, the flabbergasted businessman jumped out of his chair and cried, "No thanks!" as he fled the scene."

Worth reading, I'd say.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read, May 15 2010
By 
A. Downey - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage (Paperback)
I am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby is an autobiographical look at life as a Hutterite. Mary-Ann Kirkby spent the first 10 years of her life living in a Hutterite colony until her parents chose to leave because of political problems. She then must find a way to fit into the rest of society as she grows into an adult.

This story really did read like fiction. It was interesting, well paced and a great read. I'd not known much about the Hutterite community before this and thanks to Kirkby, I have a much better understanding of their beliefs and their ways. I even found myself sometimes thinking that that kind of life wouldn't be so bad. I fell in love with many of the people she described. I especially enjoyed that it takes place in Manitoba. Being Canadian, I love reading books about or by other Canadians. This book made me smile and left me wanting more.

I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for an impartial review.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Am Hutterite- An Honest Review, May 3 2010
By 
atanali "-Atanali-" (Ont. Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage (Paperback)
* Summary: 'I Am Hutterite' is intended to be the story of a woman's past growing up in a Hutterite colony, as well as dealing with the tragic loss of leaving it and adjusting to the outside world.

* Writing Style and Reading Experience: Mary Ann Kirkby is an excellent wielder of pen. I thoroughly enjoyed her story, and could hear her voice between the lines.
The story itself is one worth sharing; I was completely captivated by the events and the life represented. Mrs. Kirkby is a wonderful author- her words made me laugh, and even cry. I felt I was truly by her side while her childhood unfolded.
* Insights and Facts: This book is written from the perspective of growing up in a Hutterite colony, a religious sect very much like the Amish in that it's way of life is very closed off from the outside world. This work offers us a magical, rare peep inside the Hutterite lifestyle, and I loved it. Much of the way of living is revealed here that you would not learn anywhere else. It was so fascinating, that I will definitely pass this book on to family and friends, knowing they'll enjoy it.

* Point Of View: Religious sects such as the Hutterites, Amish, etc. are very often criticized and called out as cults. While this may or may not be true, Mrs. Kirkby gives her point of view, and it is one of bitter-sweet memories. The politics in the group, bias, and tragedy are also enveloped in the close ties of family, friendship, and love.

Ultimately, Mary Ann comes out with her freedom, but with a cherished past that she embraces. It is an amazing journey, and I highly recommend you come along.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into an unknown culture, Jan. 14 2011
This review is from: I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage (Paperback)
Like other reviewers I found this to be an absorbing read with fascinating insights into a culture that is not well understood or known by most people. The author shares her story and her memories in a very personal way and takes you along on her journey through childhood in the Hutterite community. It moves along well and keeps you coming back. My only comment, and what prevented me from giving it five stars, is that it felt a little "light" by the end. I learnt lots but it could have benefited from a little more information about the culture as she was going through it. Although I know it was a personal story, I found I wanted to know more about what made some of the characters tick? What was behind some of their believes and lines in the sand on certain issues? In a few cases we hear that some one did such and such but we never really get to understand why. I'd recommend this though, you won't be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews