Skip to main content

Book Review: I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby

Ann-Marie Dornn was born and raised on a Hutterite colony in Manitoba, Canada. In this religious community, everything is shared among all the people who live there. The community gathers together for meals, and life runs smoothly as each person works hard to ensure their tasks are completed each day. As a child growing up on the colony, Ann-Marie was filled with happiness. But her parents were continuously struggling with conflicts in leadership. And when Ann-Marie was just 10 years old, they left the colony, entering the "English" world where they had to fend for themselves with no community to help them.

In I Am Hutterite, Mary-Ann Kirkby takes us back to her childhood, when she was called Ann-Marie and lived within the Hutterite community. But first, she takes us back further to tell us her parents' story of how they came to live on the colony. I didn't know anything about Hutterites before reading this book, so the history was interesting. But I have to say this part of the book didn't read like a memoir. It was written more like a historical record of her parents' life. I didn't feel a lot of emotion and connection to her parents as I was hoping to learn more about her personally. I do understand the need to tell a bit about your parents when you're telling your own life story, but I felt like the background about her family was a bit long and included so many different people, I started to lose track!

From here, she went on to tell about her life as a child on the colony. I enjoyed hearing about life on the Hutterite colony, but there wasn't a lot of feeling behind the words. Perhaps this is because she was pretty content with her life at that point. When her parents take her and her siblings away from the colony, about halfway through the book, I finally saw more feeling in her writing. It was interesting to hear about the first few years of trying to assimilate into the "English" community. I honestly wish she had gone further though. I had expected to hear a lot more about her life beyond the colony than what was given. She touches on her adult life very briefly at the end, but I would have enjoyed hearing more.

If you are interested in Hutterites or the concept of community life in general, I do recommend this book. It's an interesting look into the inner workings of a Hutterite colony and the sense of community one finds within it.

My Rating: 3/5

Visit the author's website

This review was written based on a copy of I Am Hutterite that I received from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thank you for your review, Julie! We appreciate your honesty, and I too would have enjoyed hearing more. Mary-Ann has lived a fascinating life and become a remarkable woman. I'd like to know what all happened between the end of this book and where she is currently. Maybe one day she'll write a sequel :)



Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Book Review: The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Peter Byerly is distraught over the loss of his wife nine months ago. He has retreated to their cottage in the English countryside, hoping to return to his love of collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens a book about Shakespeare forgeries and finds a Victorian watercolor of a woman who looks just like his wife, Peter is soon on a search for the origin of the painting and the truth about Shakespeare's real identity.

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett is a wonderful journey for anyone who loves books. It follows Peter's search in 1995, which turns into a bit of a thriller at times. But Lovett also takes the reader back in time a bit so we can learn the story of his relationship with his wife and how he came to be a bookseller. He does a beautiful job of expressing Peter's feelings about the rare books he encounters, and his feelings are contagious.

And then he takes us back even further to the history of one particular volume, whos…

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…