This was a book sent to me by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, to blog about!  It’s not one I would have picked up on my own, and yet I loved it!!!!!  It’s a must-read, coming of age story for any woman who has ever set out to “find herself”.

This story took me into a culture I have never even heard of…the Hutterite colonies.  A very conservative christian community that truly believes community is the way to live. I have heard of sustainable communities (like hippy communities) out there, but I have never heard of the Hutterites.  This is a fascinating and touching story of one family’s journey within the community and their struggle to survive and find their place in the “English” world after they leave their beloved community life.

It is filled with childhood innocence and wonder, family obligation, spiritual beliefs and changes in beliefs, inter-racial and inter-religious relationships, and so much more!  There is something for everyone in this book.  It is heart warming and even humorous at times!

In the end, it closes with some great thoughts on forgiveness and what true freedom is.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the book:

“What I know with certainty today is that our humanity is what we have in common, but our cultural heritage is the special gift each of us is given at birth.  Until we embrace who we are and really value the power it is meant to bring to our lives, we cannot realize our true potential.”

“Things that you do, do with your might: things done by halves are never done right.”

As I was looking for favorite quotes, I realized I had ear marked a couple of “stories” or “scenarios” that pulled at my heart-strings…  One of them made me laugh so hard when I remembered my friend from Arizona, Annelle, and how she carries some things (like lighters and such) in her bra.  I guess the Hutterite women do that as well.  There is a funny story about that in the book; I promise you will get a chuckle out of it!

There was another story about how Ann-Marie was told how God would come when they least expected it and they  had better be good or they will go to hell when He comes.  So she thought she found a way around this….    It reminded me of when I was a kid raised in conservative a Christian home.  I thought, “well its okay if I sin, as long as I ask for forgiveness every night before I go to bed.  That way if the rapture comes, I’m still good.”  Awww…the good ol’ days.  *laugh*

Seriously, this is such a wonderful story.  It’s beautifully written, and I promise you that it will take you on  a journey you will get lost in!