Download I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to reclaim Her Heritage Audiobook

I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Womans Journey to reclaim Her Heritage Audiobook, by Mary-Ann Kirkby Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Mary-Ann Kirkby Narrator: Mary-Ann Kirkby Publisher: HarperCollins Christian Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9780849949142
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (810 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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In 1969, Ann-Marie’s parents did the unthinkable. They left a Hutterite colony in Canada 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 little of their unique culture. The transition was overwhelming. Desperate to be accepted, ten-year-old Ann-Marie was forced to deny her heritage in order to fit in with her peers. 

Winner of the 2007 Saskatchewan Book Award for Non-fiction.

“Your mother and father are running away," said a voice piercing the warm air. I froze and turned toward home. To a Hutterite, nothing is more shameful than that word, running away, Weglaufen...”

In 1969, Ann-Marie’s parents did the unthinkable. They left a Hutterite colony in Canada 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 little of their unique culture. The transition was overwhelming. Desperate to be accepted, ten-year-old Ann-Marie was 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. Rich with memorable characters and vivid descriptions, this ground-breaking narrative shines a light on intolerance, illuminating the simple truth that beneath every human exterior beats a heart longing for understanding and acceptance.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This sweeping prairie memoir, self-published in Canada in 2007, rapidly garnered both commercial and literary applause…As riveting and well-paced as a novel. Kirkby captures the complex cadences of Hutterite life—the bawdy humor and knack for storytelling that stands beside austere ritual, the poverty of personal possession and freedom that exists beside the security of community life—with pitch-perfect writing. She also manages to avoid either vilifying or romanticizing a culture that has been subjected to both. Readers will find themselves hoping that Kirkby follows the popular trend in memoir writing: producing a sequel.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 2/18/2014

    " This is an honest and heartfelt book by someone who hid her background because of prejudices of the "English" and is now reclaiming it. While I didn't like how she ended the book (it seemed a bit choppy), I loved the story. It was honest and pure. I could relate to her being the outsider looking in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 2/18/2014

    " Wonderful account of young girl growing up in Hutterite colony in Manitoba--similar to Amish--and the challenges she and her parents and siblings faced when they left the colony and entered mainstream culture. Only disappointment is that she stops her account at the point of finishing high school and doesn't bring to the present. But she honors her Hutterite past as I hope I can for my Mennonite past. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 2/13/2014

    " I saw this at the library and had never even heard of the Hutterite religion. Just a few pages into the book right now. I finished the book. It was not particularly well written but it was interesting to learn about these folks. Proves that even the best of organized religion intentions go awry. Just have to leave out the organizers, I guess. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Crystal | 2/3/2014

    " Good book, but seems to just skim the surface of what is really going on in these communities. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heidi | 1/29/2014

    " I honestly ended up skimming through this book. I was mislead by the summary of the book which claimed that there were political troubles that caused her family to leave the group. I was thinking that they were having troubles with the local Canadian government, when in reality, it was just fighting within the community of Hutterites. I thought she was going to describe a beautiful, loving way of life and it really wasn't that way at all. It was less about the way of life and more a rather dry account of her family history. Disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rayna | 1/23/2014

    " This is a great eye-opener by Mary-Ann, who my class got to video conference today! It was great to here more from her today that was not in the book. But seeing as this is a book review, let's talk about that... There are so many wonderful stories about her life as a young girl and about finding herself as she grows up. The culture of Hutterite people is cleared up and defined so well in this book. The sad part is that many people who have wrong views about these wonderful people will probably not choose to read this book. If this is the case, hopefully those that do read it will try their best to dispel falsities when they hear them. This is a great read for everyone, but even more so for those from Western Canada. Thanks for the awesome book and video conference today Mary-Ann! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phyl | 1/18/2014

    " Another "local" book ... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/16/2014

    " I really enojyed this surprise find from the library. Very interesting look at Kirkby's experience of communal living as a Hutterite child. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 1/14/2014

    " fascinating look into the Hutterite lifestyle and beliefs.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 1/13/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I just had the opportunity to visit a Hutterite colony recently and now reading the book has really helped me understand their way of living. I found it very interesting and the book confirmed many things I was told when I visited the colony. Good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jesse | 12/13/2013

    " It was an interesting read about a culture I know so little about. I was disappointed with the seemingly sudden ending though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorraine | 12/9/2013

    " Fascinating looks into another culture that is often mysterious to the outsider. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janice | 12/2/2013

    " I found this story annoying, and finally quit reading it after page 80. It has good ratings so I'm sure it's "just me." Give it a try and let me know if it is just me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 11/28/2013

    " This book was written in a very forthright and almost childlike manner. I gave it 4 stars for the content which was a richly detailed life of a Hutterite girl on her particular colony as seen through her very young eyes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Missy | 11/28/2013

    " I really wanted to read this, and it started out lovely, but I couldn't get into it. I wasn't able to finish the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaylene | 11/26/2013

    " Easily read-as if listening to the author tell a story over coffee. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 8/31/2013

    " I find memoirs to be fascinating, and this one did not disappoint. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 11/3/2012

    " I had spent a long time finding a book about life in a Hutterite colony. I found this one interesting but somehow I was hoping for more information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara | 7/14/2012

    " This is an amazing memoir of a culture that I really didn't know much about. Glad I read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 4/15/2012

    " I'd give this one a 3.5. Having grown up in a community with a Hutterite colony nearby, I was very interested in the details of everyday life, and particularly in Mary-Ann's challenges with the "English" world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 2/19/2012

    " It was interesting to hear about life on the colony and to how former colony members were treated when then left the fold. I found the book interesting as well because I was familiar with some of the towns mentioned and the prairie scenes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 8/21/2011

    " I was hoping for a little more exploration of the Hutterite experience v. Amish and Mennonite, but otherwise an interesting autobiography. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 6/4/2011

    " I thought it was kind of boring. The author spent so much time writing about the history of her family. I wish she would have included more of her own personal story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Notty | 5/13/2011

    " I liked it, found it interesting and informative! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beate | 4/5/2011

    " Growing up in Alberta, I was always fascinated by these people who so kept to themselves. This book allowed me to gain a deep respect for their culture, but also deep regret that so many stay who obviously are unable to leave for whatever reason. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlene | 4/2/2011

    " Very Interestig read. Good insight and informative regarding these private people. I found it specifically interesting I suppose because we have two Hutterite colonies that are not far from where we live "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/23/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book and the look inside the way of life of the Hutterite community. The beliefs and traditions held sacrad for hundreds of years were very interesting.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 3/9/2011

    " I'd give this one a 3.5. Having grown up in a community with a Hutterite colony nearby, I was very interested in the details of everyday life, and particularly in Mary-Ann's challenges with the "English" world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misty | 2/24/2011

    " I really enjoyed this Canadian book. It gave great insight into a culture that not many of us know much about. I do wish that it was just a little bit more telling about the colony and how it works. It was a great book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/22/2011

    " I really enojyed this surprise find from the library. Very interesting look at Kirkby's experience of communal living as a Hutterite child. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara | 1/19/2011

    " This is an amazing memoir of a culture that I really didn't know much about. Glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wagrags | 1/9/2011

    " fascinating look into the Hutterite lifestyle and beliefs.... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joanne | 1/8/2011

    " Got bogged down in the superfluous details about Hutterite dress, wedding customs, and genealogical history. Reads more like anthropology than a memoir. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ajs | 1/3/2011

    " Very real, an interesting look into a culture I hadn't thought too much about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 11/12/2010

    " I had spent a long time finding a book about life in a Hutterite colony. I found this one interesting but somehow I was hoping for more information. "

About the Author

Mary-Ann Kirkby, journalist and award-winning author, covered aboriginal issues for CTV and served as media relations consultant for the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. She has won Can-Pro Awards for political reporting and for hosting a children’s program. Kirkby lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, with her husband and son.