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.
Hear straight from plain Christians as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book in the series includes 'A Day in the Life of the Author' and the author's answers to FAQs."
It's a privilege, indeed, to be given such a personal and touching glimpse into another's culture and lifestyle. I became online friends with the author a while back through our mutual love of blogging (Linda Maendel blogs at Hutt-Write Voice). She has such a kind and supportive personality, and I enjoyed getting a further sample of her warm writing style and personal history through Hutterite Diaries.
This book, in essence, is a collection of vignettes about the author's experiences living in a Hutterite colony. Through the fun, sweet, and inspiring stories, the reader learns about why those of the Hutterite faith live together as a group but separate (in some ways, but not all) from the "world." The reader also becomes privy to the livelihoods, relationships, and community events (both daily, like sharing meals, and more large-scale, like holidays and harvest) of the Hutterites, young and old.
The book is divided into four sections ("Fellowship," "Celebrations," "Values," and "Heritage"), with stories collected under each, in addition to "A Day in the Life of the Author" section at the beginning and an FAQs section at the end. The four main sections really kind of flow together (although the last focuses more on the history of the Hutterites in general), and while the stories aren't always obviously connected, they share common themes. Some of them are simple and more clever in nature, and some are deeper as they reflect on difficult seasons, the bond of love, and the blessings of being able to reach out to one another and share what we've been given, be it tangible or intangible.
While not every story resonated in a profound way for me, the overall collection offers a lovely atmosphere of sweetness and simplicity, as well as a reminder to not lose sight of what matters most: faith, family, and the love that binds. I will say that I especially enjoyed "A Day in the Life of the Author"; it's so neat to be able to hear what a typical day looks like in this very different - and yet not so foreign - way of life.
*With thanks to NetGalley and Herald Press for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*