Review by: Cynthia ( my mom)
I first saw a write up and photo of Mary-Ann Kirkby in the Winnipeg Free Press. I immediately wanted to read the book after reading a summary about her life. I have always had a keen interest in the different religious colonies. I had always pictured them to be hard working, very religious, and having a very strict and structured life. I also grew up and went to school in an era where teachers were in charge, kids could be strapped, parents were strict, you did what you were told or else. I did however have a good childhood, and grew up without tv or computers. Books were my friends along with different kids in the neighbourhood.
My grandparents were Ukrainian and came from overseas, so there was a different kind of upbringing that I was used to, but it did have an effect on how we did things. One cannot escape their ancestors. A different language, a different culture than the one taught in school, but I was taught English from day one, and nothing else. My husband grew up in a large family of 11 children and only spoke Ukrainian until he went to school It was hard for him and his siblings. I am sure when one is slightly different it is hard as a child, regardless of your culture. Sometimes kids just like to bully other kids because they are insecure or want attention. I can understand more or less what Mary-Ann had to go through, life was different when I was growing up than it is now.
I love to read and write short articles so this book appealed to me. Mary-Ann also lives only four hours from me, making her almost seem like a neighour. From glancing through this book the author appears to be a woman whom most of us can relate with, we all have our needs and wants, and most important want to be accepted by those around us no matter where we came from, and what year we were born. We also crave freedom of some kind and when we are suppressed we aren't our true selves. We tend to carry guilt so easy if we have been told certain things are wrong from childhood. I know I still harbour guilt feelings when I do something entirely different from what I was told in childhood.
I know this book will be an interesting and touching read. Although Mary-Ann Kirkby is close to my children's ages, she had lived in a colony and it was like living in the past. How many of us have lived such a life as she has?
Updated comments on book:05/19/2012
Updated comments on book:05/19/2012
I found the award winning book, "I Am Hutterite", to be an excellent book to read, it held my interest the entire time, and I was disappointed to finish it as I felt I could read on and on. It is a true story about a woman's past, of growing up in a Hutterite colony. I found it to be very detailed and informative on life in a Hutterite Community.
Mary Ann Kirkby is an excellent writer, she holds you spell bound with her childhood events, her family and others in the colony. I could almost feel her "pain" when she was teased by other children in school. It must have been so difficult to adapt to a modern world.
Mary Ann has a deep love of family no matter where she was living. She never forgot her little brother who died when he was very little. Her life was one of hard work, and religion. Everyone had their part in the colony, young or old.
If you ever wondered about the Hutterites, now is the time to find out, a beautiful book to read.
Mary-Ann Kirkby is a best-selling Canadian author of I Am Hutterite. Since its release in June, 2007, the self published book sold 75,000 copies in bookstores, retail outlets and through her website. In November, 2007, her memoir received the Best Non-fiction award at the Saskatchewan Book Awards and was also short-listed for Best First Book. With her special brand of humour she delights audiences with candid descriptions of life on and off the colony.