Hutterite Diaries by Linda Maendel

Few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites. Maendel’s story, Hutterite Diaries, 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.


{More about Hutterite Diaries}

Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom from My Prairie Community (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.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Linda Maendel

{More About Linda Maendel}

Linda Maendel is a Hutterite author, blogger, and educator who lives in Elm River Colony outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Find out more about Linda at



    I found this book very interesting and would like to learn more about the Hutterite Colonies. The author of this book lives in a Colony in Canada so it would be a bit far for me to drive and visit, but maybe someday I will be able to visit a colony. Until then I’ll content myself with learning more about them and where they have come from. I love learning the history behind people and would love to visit Germany someday as the author did.

    Written by For Him and My Family on June 21, 2015
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    Having always been fascinated with Amish and Mennonite culture, I was quite interested in hearing, er… reading, more about the Hutterian Brethren. In its mere 150 pages, this book truly took me on a journey as I learned more about the people behind the group. I found it to be a quick, enjoyable read that I would recommend to others like myself that also enjoy books about the Plainspoken. I really like the way Linda really let you in on the day to day lives of her community. To be honest, I would love to read more about the Hutterite – especially from this author. She portrayed everything in such a simple yet delightful way that it found myself leaving the book with a deeper understanding of this religious group and I’m grateful to have been granted the privilege of a peek into her life

    Written by Electively Paige on June 12, 2015


    This book has tales from Maendel’s life and childhood that will really help you look into this community and way of life. She includes stories of laughter, hard work, drama, and the “little things” like sibling rivalry and tricks played on family members. I loved reading some of the traditions of the community and seeing pictures of the things Maendel was describing.

    She has a great writing style. You’ll be intrigued from the very beginning, and won’t want to put this down. If you have interest in learning about other cultures and peoples, or biographies, or like hearing friends tell good stories, you’ll want to pick up this book.

    Written by The Talbert Report on June 12, 2015
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    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.

    Written by Novel Reviews on June 11, 2015
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    This was a rare and delightful glimpse into the very unique world of the Hutterite’s. A lot of people know very little about the Hutterite communities, I knew a bit more because my sister had a pen-pal that was Hutterite but I still had a lot to learn. I really enjoyed the quaint lifestyle that Ms. Maendel and it was a deliciously easy read, taking one to a different world that seems like something from the past. I highly enjoyed her stories of working together and daily life in the community. I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Written by Perfect Beginnings on June 11, 2015


    A fascinating look into a Plain lifestyle. Each chapter stands alone as its own story while together, as a whole, they give a wonderful glimpse into what it means to live within this unique community of faith. Maendel shares heartbreak and humour in an easy-to-read style that captivated me…

    Written by Best Reads on June 11, 2015
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    I’ve always been intrigued by different cultures and Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom from My Prairie Community, written by Linda Maendel, offers insight and glimpses of how the Hutterite people live. The author, a Hutterite herself, shares memories and stories of the Hutterite work ethic, religious beliefs, sense of community, and more.
    This is not a fact-driven book that will give you all the specifics and statistics on the Hutterite people. It’s a book where the author lends her personal stories and recollections. Linda does go more specifically into the Hutterite lifestyle with a Q&A section at the back of the book. There are a few black and white photos included, showing the Hutterite ways.

    Written by Heck Of A Bunch on June 10, 2015
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    I think it is awesome that Plainspoken is giving outsiders an opportunity to learn about people that live differently than I do so I can have a better understanding. I found this book to be very informative and interesting. I enjoyed reading about how much they help the community where they live and how they share their possessions.

    Written by Frugal Shopping and More on June 10, 2015
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    I learned so much about the Hutterite, although not much about their theology which bugged me a bit as I’m interested in that but I realize the normal reader probably isn’t as much. Linda recounts much of her memories of life in the colony and many of the stories came from her blog. It is nicely structured and her writing style is very conversational as if you are talking to an old friend. I loved this inside look at a group living in Christian community, sharing all things, yet not keeping themselves from technology and such.

    Written by The Crafty Home on June 9, 2015
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    I loved the perspective that Linda shared, and she’s writes with a wonderful style that I found so warm and easy to read. My disappointment in the book lies with wanting MORE.
    There was a quote in the book that stuck with me; “I make sure my students know that their Hutterite stories are worth writing about, because they are interesting, heartwarming, and valuable”. It’s funny that I marked that quote because I truly hope that Linda takes to heart her own words and writes another book, and gives us “plain-curious” or “plain-seeking” the info that we crave. She shares her stories so beautifully! Give us more!

    Written by Home of OHM on June 9, 2015
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    This is a very well written book about life of the Hutterite Colony. The Author, Linda Maendel writes with such ease that you feel like she is speaking directly to you.

    Written by Our Perfectly Imperfect Life! on June 9, 2015
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    This book is a quick, easy read, and it meets its purpose well: it gives an insider’s view as to the inner workings of a Hutterite community. I enjoyed the “A Day in the Life of the Author” feature as well as the FAQ section at the end of the book and the photos interspersed throughout.

    If you’re looking for information on the Hutterites, Hutterian history, or just a glimpse into a simpler, sweeter lifestyle, this is your book. I imagine anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish and Mennonites will like this book. You may also want to check out Linda’s blog!

    Written by WordSmith on June 9, 2015
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    It’s difficult to “rate/review” someone’s life as it is the story of their life. I was curious to read about the Hutterite family, I’d never heard of them before. They do things similar to Amish but not the same and really I found it to be a mix of different ideas. The main idea is that they all “live together” not in the same house but community. They share money, food, kitchens, etc. This book didn’t have as much info as I thought as it’s more of a diary about Linda’s life. Many things didn’t seem that much different than our modern day life but it was still interesting to learn that groups of people live differently.

    I wish the book would have been organized a little differently but I still consider this a good book.

    Written by I Hope You Dance on June 9, 2015
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    If you know nothing of the Hutterities, their style of living, the struggles they faced before coming to America then this book might be one you would enjoy.

    Linda shares about fellowship, celebrations, and values along with a bit of the Hutterite heritage story.

    This book was a quick read which I appreciated. While describing the book to someone I realized I needed to look at it as a series of short stories. When approached that way it flows a little better on the whole, but the individual pieces were still a bit choppy.

    Would I Recommend This Book?
    The honest glimpse into Hutterite culture is worth the quick read, especially if the Anabaptist faiths are of interest to you. I didn’t love the writing style but appreciated the insight Linda’s book provided.

    Written by The Sunset Won’t on June 9, 2015


    This book tells what it is like to live the life of a Hutterite. They are plain and simple community similar in ways to the Amish and Mennonites yet so different also.

    Written by cherylbbookblog on June 9, 2015


    I can say of this book that I appreciated understanding the Hutterite belief system a little bit better. I can say that Maendel seems like a very pleasant gal whom I would delight in being friends with, were we to ever meet. I must also say though that this book did nothing to persuade me that the Hutterite’s apply the whole of scripture to their daily life. I think they’ve picked and chosen some favorite verses and are trying to live those out. While it is always good to strive to obey Scriptures, it is equally important that you look at the whole and not just a part when doing so. To look at only a snippet and base a life around it is a road often fraught with danger.

    Written by Reading to Know on June 8, 2015
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    The Hutterites are a plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites. Ever since I first heard of the Hutterites a couple of years ago, I have been interested in reading more about them. So when I heard about the Hutterite Diaries, I knew I had to read this book. Linda Maendel gives us a good glimpse into a Hutterite colony. I still have some questions, though, and would like to know more about the Hutterite lifestyle. I think Linda Maendel needs to write a part 2!

    Written by Linda’s Lunacy on June 7, 2015
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    I am not a huge fan of non-fiction. I find it boring and cumbersome, however this book was anything but boring. I knew nothing of the Hutterite people until I read this book. I really enjoyed it and their faith and community show what a true faith community is suppose to be about. If you enjoy books about the Plain people, I recommend you grab a copy of this book, you won’t be sorry. If you’re like me and don’t really care for non-fiction, try this book, it will feel like you are chatting with an old friend.

    Highly recommended!!

    Written by Radiant Light on June 6, 2015
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    Linda Maendel’s Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom from My Prairie Community offers a brief and engaging glimpse at a unique community. Maendel tells entertaining and interesting stories of her everyday life and discusses the shared values and customs. A well-written, quick book, Hutterite Diaries is a worthwhile read.

    Written by Book by Book on June 4, 2015
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    I love reading about the plain lifestyle. I think it’s fascinating to read about how other’s live etc. On the Hutterites I haven’t read much , just a little.

    I think Linda does a good job of getting across how much she enjoys and appreciates her lifestyle and heritage. In each post you get glimpses of community life, and there are several chapters on the rich Hutterite history.

    Written by Homemaking Organized on June 4, 2015
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    I’m really glad I had the chance to read Hutterite Diaries. My only knowledge of the Hutterite community comes from the show that used to play on National Geographic. On the show, the Hutterites displayed little spiritual conviction; most of their actions were influenced by fear of retribution from “the elders” or whatever religious leaders they followed. In contrast, Hutterite Diaries show a true sense of communal living, where members care for, and deeply love, each other.

    Written by Savings in Seconds on June 4, 2015


    A must read for fans of the “plain lifestyle” and those interested in learning about Hutterite community. While not a cohesive memoir or story, it is still an engaging romp through memories and experiences. Hutterite author, Linda Maendel shares many stories about growing up in her community, values, and family living. Knowing next to nothing about this religion/culture, I thought it was definitely eye opening and not at all what I expected. I think I thought it would be closer to Amish living, but in fact it is quite different. Linda outlines many differences and misconceptions common folk have about their lifestyle as compared to the Amish. A quick, informative read, I was able to complete it within about two hours. I can see this being wildly popular at libraries.

    I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

    Written by Tragically Dull Adventures of An Almost Librarian on June 4, 2015


    Linda Maendel wrote her book in a way that makes the reader feel they are visiting with an old friend, sharing stories and chuckling over something funny that happened that day. Not only did the author inform and describe how she lives, she went a step further and explained why the Hutterite people do things the way they do.

    Written by The Loose Screw on June 3, 2015
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    Linda is a wonderful storyteller. She gives her readers a look into the Christian Hutterian community located on the prairie of western Canada.
    Linda shares stories of her everyday life among the Hutterites. They are a resourceful, hard-working, and Christ-centered group of people who do life together. They are a close-knit community that love and care for all their members.
    Linda shares the history of the Hutterites which one can trace all the way back to the Reformation in Europe. The Anabaptist moment began on January 21, 1525 when Conrad Grebel, George Blaurock, and Felix Manz baptized one another. Over the years the Anabaptist have faced great persecution. They have been forced to move around in order to keep from being either imprisoned or killed.
    Well-written, easy to read book.

    Written by Four Seasons of Blessings on June 3, 2015
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    I enjoyed reading this book very much! I love to read about ways of life other than my own. I find it fascinating. I love the idea of living in a “community”, my friend and I actually tried to start one when my daughter was a baby but we never got it off the ground.
    This is the third book about the Hutterties I have read. The other others were – I am Hutteriute, by Mary Ann Kirkby and My Hutterite Life, by Lisa M Stahl – both of these were very good as well.

    I loved this author’s style of writing. It was very descriptive, nice, kind of what you would see in older literature.

    “I walk leisurely to the communal kitchen for breakfast, soaking up the morning air and the surrounding splendor. Autumn has painted trees and shrubs in shades of orange, yellow, and red; and some leaves have escaped onto the neatly trimmed, stillgreen lawns. Dew-kissed grass blades sparkle as if somebody shattered crystals.” I love this – beautiful!

    Each chapter is like a different short story explaining a different aspect of their life.
    This book really goes in depth about the Hutterites’ ways and their customs, as well as a lot of history! That actually was one of my favorite parts – the history, where they came from and why.
    If you are the least bit curious about other ways of life – you will enjoy this one!

    Thank you Litfuse for sending me this e-book for my honest review!

    Written by Wall-to-wall books on June 3, 2015
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    Hutterite Diaries is a delightful and interesting read. The book is written like you are sitting and talking to your friend over a cup of coffee. Hutterite Diaries flowed easily and it only took a couple of hours to read. What was different about this memoir compared to others I have read is that it is divided into sections. Each chapter has an applicable quote at the beginning which gives the reader a preview of what is to come.

    Linda shares a lot of her culture and herself. Her love of her people shines deeply though her words. She is honest and caring. The humor and stories she adds to the book make the book fun and joyful. The way Linda uses description makes you draw mental pictures in your mind; it is as if you are right there with her in her community.

    Linda includes some of the history of the Hutterite people. This really gives the reader a bird’s eye view of what their people have gone through, yet survived. Linda also discusses some threats to her culture. Her honesty is refreshing.

    I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

    Thank you to the Litfuse Chicks for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation has been received and all views expressed are my own.

    Written by Simple Harvest Reads on June 2, 2015
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    I have to admit, this book was a bit different than I was expecting. It’s somewhat of a mash up of things, with a diary/memoir type of feel. The author shares stories from her childhood, and more than not, it’s reminiscing about her community and family. There’s some historical information, and peeks into the life of the Hutterite community. It’s a gentle and simple kind of read, and one that I think I would have enjoyed more reading a bit of each day, as opposed to straight through. If you choose to read it straight through, it’s a quick read. Even though I didn’t get quite the look into a typical day that I thought I would, it was still a sweet read, and I did get a peek at it.

    Written by Bluerose’s Heart on June 2, 2015
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    This book is a little different from what I expected. Each chapter is like a different diary entry and can stand alone without the previous chapters. As I said earlier, there are some humorous entries written, but Linda has somewhat of a dry old-fashioned humor so the jokes might not be humorous to all readers. It was hard to relate to way of living, but it was an interesting read none the less.

    Written by Loving Mommahood on June 1, 2015
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    This book was interesting. I had never heard of the hutterites before reading this book. The author lives in a Hutterite Colony. She shares the lifestyle and the ways of the community life.

    Written by Walking in Grace on June 1, 2015
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  • A fantastic, eye opening read for me as I dived into the Hutterite world. This is a community in my country, that I was never even aware of until I read this book. An excellent read to foster understanding and respect.

    Written by Working Mommy Journal on June 1, 2015


    I enjoyed learning about the Hutterites. I didn’t realize that there were so many sects that were actually offshoots of the Amish and Mennonites. It is interesting to see the differences and similarities between the Amish and the Mennonites. The Hutterites don’t shun modern conveniences but they do value frugality. It was interesting to read about how they reuse and recycle on an everyday basis. I also enjoyed the farming stories. Linda’s book was fascinating and a fast read. She writes in plain English and the book is easy to follow.

    Written by Glamamamas Goodies on May 31, 2015


    This was a very interesting book to read. I have not heard of the Hutterite group before seeing this book. I knew about the Amish and the Mennonites but not this group out of Canada. The way the author wrote this book it was very easy to read and understand. It was very interesting to see how this group of people have a communal way of living in their villages. The author does a very good job of describing their lifestyles and culture. Hutterite Diaries is a park of a series called Plainspoken that tells the real life stories of the Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites. Even though this is a part of a series you can read each as a stand alone book as they each tell a different person’s story. I also like how they tell a day in the life of the author and a question and answer section. All in all a good story that I recommend to fans of Amish stories.

    Written by Griperang’s Bookmarks on May 31, 2015
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    I knew next to nothing about the Hutterites prior to reading this book, so I was fascinated by this account of their lifestyle. I was also intrigued by the turbulent history of the Hutterites, which involved a great deal of persecution and relocation. One thing I missed in reading this book was a personal look at Maendel’s life and the people in her community. Apparently, she never married nor had children, but she rarely addressed such personal details (Is it difficult to find a spouse in such a small community?), and the other people in the colony were broadly drawn so I never felt like I really got to know anyone who lives as a Hutterite. Overall, though, I learned a great deal about these inspirational people who choose to live peacefully through the Scriptures.

    Written by Susan Heim on Writing on May 30, 2015
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    I am well aware of the Amish but not the Hutterites so this was a fun read for me.

    Linda takes you in to a day and life of the Hutterite life. She talks about their clothes how they eat their meals all together the whole community males on one side of the room and females on the other side of the room.

    She tell some stories about her family and the way they have their weddings.

    It was a fun read and a leaning experience.

    I gave this book 4 stars. Don’t expect and Amish story Hutterites are different from the Amish and so is this book.

    I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for my honest review

    Written by The Mary Book Reader on May 30, 2015
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    I very much enjoyed this rare glimpse into the differences between the Hutterite way of life and that of the Amish. My favorite was reading about a day in the life of the author, though I enjoyed all of her stories.
    Two thumbs up!

    Written by Inklings and Notions on May 30, 2015
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    Linda’s story is real, it comes with the joys and the issues that whether you live in a communal life or not that we all go through – her writing is very real and as I said it’s almost as if you’re sharing a drink and chatting with her at her fireplace (I assume she has a fireplace, maybe I’m romanticizing a bit). As with all things there will be aspects I don’t agree with – such as placing young children in the care of others for many hours a day, I understand they do this so the children learn from an early age how their community works. I also know that my children learn about our community, the world at large and also about our faith every day even though they are homeschooled. I’m looking forward to following Linda’s blog and her Twitter feed.

    Written by Growing for Christ on May 29, 2015
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    Many of the stories that the author tells us are similar to what goes on between my children. I love how she tells the stories word for word so we aren’t left to our own imagination. Many of the stories are heartfelt and encouraging. I loved learning about this community!

    Written by A Simple Life, really?! on May 29, 2015
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  • When we lived in Montana, we lived not far from two or three Hutterite communities. We often saw them on the sidewalks and in the stores in our little town, as well as in Great Falls. I was intrigued by their lifestyle.I was happy to have a chance to read Hutterite Diaries, and learn a little bit about their community life. Especially fascinating to me was Linda’s sharing of the history of Hutterian Brethren in Euroupe, as well as that of the Anabaptists. My own family ancestry traces back to Anabaptists, as well (so I have been told).

    If you are interested in learning more about the communal life of the Hutterites, you will find this book fascinating.

    Written by Life at Rossmont on May 28, 2015
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  • At only 154 pages, HUTTERITE DIARIES was very informational but short. I hope that Linda continues to write and can share more day to day glimpses into the Hutterite world.

    Written by Sue Wendt on May 28, 2015


    I had never heard of the Hutterite community. Apparently, they live their lives in a communal setting. They share everything, take meals together, etc… I thought this book sounded really interesting because I love memoirs and I wanted to learn more about this colony. They use modern conveniences, unlike the Amish, but they just live like Acts 2:44,45 tell us the disciples and early church lived.

    “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”

    Unfortunately, this book was not at all interesting. It didn’t really tell you anything at all about their community. It was a few stories about the author’s life and they did not hold my interest at all. Not even one! I was really surprised by this. I hate to give a bad review, but there wasn’t a single thing I liked about the book.

    Thank you, Litfuse, for this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

    Written by aTransParentMom on May 28, 2015
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    This book is an enlightening in-depth look at the Hutterites, while there is a lot of books about the Amish, and some about the Mennonites not much is known about the Hutterites. These churches all come the Anabaptists and evolved in different directions. We also touch on where their faith was practiced and evolved out of. How they were persecuted for their beliefs and how they came to the US and Canada

    Written by Maureen’s Musings on May 28, 2015
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    How would you feel if you had to live in a Christian community and share all your worldly possessions? The author, Linda Maendel shares a small glimpse into the everyday work and faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. Everyone worked together for the better of the whole. The book has stories of coming together to bring in the fall potato crop, laughing out loud stories when sisters have a romance. Ms. Maendel takes the readers into her colony, known as her Bruderhof. It is on a prairie in western Canada. Everyone works, eats, plays and worships together. They use their talent to craft goods for a living. This is an alternative to the everyday mainstream society. A wonderfully written book that takes you into the life of people who are different to us in some ways and very much like us in others. I would recommend this book to everyone. It will being a calming affect to your heart. The books about the Plainspoken series are:

    Written by BOOKS REVIEWS ETC on May 28, 2015
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