I Am Hutterite

Without much knowledge of the Hutterite culture, other than seeing them in their modest attire and funny little hats, I began reading this book with little bias and not many preconceived ideas, other than those based on appearance. This book provides a very interesting and eye-opening anecdotal picture of a highly-functioning society, with quirks, yes, but lots of heart.

I appreciated the author's honesty and was surprised at how many details she remembers of colony life, even years later and despite leaving at such a young age. I felt almost like a part of the family, at the least a very observant fly on the wall. Descriptions of the food, family life, friendships, work, private lives, and humor all told from the unique perspective of a very young girl make this story come alive for the reader.

Having experienced feelings of isolation and "new-kid-on-the-block-syndrome", I resonated with her fright and awkwardness when trying to fit into a new culture outside her tight-knit colony. Her parents had indeed suffered a lot due to misunderstandings and plain cruelty of the leadership, but to drag their many children out into the cold, hard world cast a shock-wave through the family. Seeing the distinct contrast of life inside and outside makes this book an even richer reading experience. PB&J sandwiches didn't measure up to the rich delicacies of the Hutterite kitchen. The long, flowing dresses the girls were used to wearing suddenly seemed very out of place. The familiar way of conversation and joking around of the Hutterite families contrasted with the polite dryness of the "English" families.

Over-all, a very informative and interesting read. Definitely harder to put down from about mid-book on. Highly recommended to anyone even the least bit curious about this little-known group.