Published By: Polka Dot Press
Year of Publication: 2007
Categories: Non Fiction, Biography
Summary (from goodreads.com): A fascinating true story of a young woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage.
In 1969, Ann-Marie Dornn’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 litte of their unique culture. The transition was overwhelming.
Desperate to be accepted, ten year-old Ann-Marie is forced to deny her heritage in order to fit in with her peers. I Am Hutterite chronicles her quest to reinvent herself as she comes to terms with the painful circumstances that led her family to leave community life.
Review: About twenty pages into this book I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but by page 50 I was hooked and I had a hard time putting it down. I was drawn to this book because I like reading about things that are different from what I know or experience. I think the author has a unique viewpoint, having lived the Hutterite way of life and then living in the world as I know it.
I found reading about a culture that I knew nothing about so interesting. I live in a province that has a lot of Hutterites in it, I even lived and worked in towns were they were seen everyday, but I surprised myself with how much I didn’t know about them. I didn’t even realize it until I started reading this book.
I really enjoyed getting an inside look into colonies in the 60’s and 70’s. I’ve never been to one, so I had no idea what they’re like. I’m sure they’ve changed a bit from the ones described in the book, but I still found it really interesting.
I had never really thought about what it would be like to have one life and then leave, and try to fit in to the “outside world” that is so different from the one you’re used to. It sounds like a pretty scary thing to do, especially at ten years old. The closest thing that I would be able to compare it to in my life was the two moves that I went through when I was nine and fourteen. I went through three different provinces in five years, and it was TOUGH. I can only imagine the change that Mary-Ann had to go through.
I loved the message this book gave me – that no matter what language we speak, what we wear, or our faith, in the end we’re all just people. It’s so easy to separate ourselves into “us” and “them”, when really, we’re more similar than we know.
Disclosure: I got this book from the library.