Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Linda Maendel's Hutterite Diaries ~ Reviewed

Linda Maendel
MennoMedia, May 2015

What would it be like to share all your possessions and live in Christian community? 
In Hutterite Diaries, Linda Maendel offers a rare glimpse into the daily routines and communal faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. From stories of working together to bring in the fall potato harvest to laugh-out-loud tales of sisterly love laced with revenge, Maendel invites readers into her Bruderhof, or colony, nestled on the prairie of western Canada. Here children and adults work, play, eat, and worship together, crafting a community of goods and living out an alternative to the individualism and consumerism of mainstream society.
Few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites. Maendel’s story invites readers into deeper understanding of this community of faith, calling us to take seriously the example of Jesus and the early church in our daily living.
I was given the opportunity to read and review Hutterite Diaries by the publicist. Even though a copy was provided I wasn't obligated to give a favorable review. 

I was looking forward to reading this little (150 pages) book because I have a strong curiosity about the plain life. Maybe its because I loved the Little House series when I was a girl.  have also been a little curious about communal living. I guess my inner hippie thinks it would be kind of cool to share chores, meals and lives with like minded people. 

I hadn't even heard of Hutterites until I read Mary-Ann Kirby's I Am Hutterite. The similarities and differences to the Amish are fascinating. Some Hutterite communities wear polka dot head coverings. Meals and many chores are done in community and the members of the community become family.

Though the book is small and more anecdotal rather than inner thought style diary, I learned quite a bit about the lives and history of the Hutterites. As a matter of fact, I discovered that the Hutterites have and old connection to my state. The Iowa Amish helped supply items and the polka dot material came from there. I'm just a hundred and change miles from the Amana Colonies. I may have to go and visit again.

There is a question and answer section as well that answered a few questions I had. There is still a part of me that thinks I'd love to spend a few weeks absorbing the life with a Hutterite community. If you are intrigued by plain living or love religious history give this book a peek. 

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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