This week, Ontario author Maria Moore gave an eye-opening talk about her family’s experience as Mexican Mennonites for The Covergirls Book Club in Almonte.
She explained why Mennonite colonies from Prussia (Ukraine) moved to Manitoba in 1920 and the reason some moved to northern Mexico a few years later. Then she dove into the experiences of her parents and their six children, living within the restrictive cultural and religious practices of the Old Colony, the resentment of neighbouring Mexicans, her family’s several moves between Mexico and Ontario to find work, and the abuse and mental health problems permeating their lives. The book begins with the night her father was shot by her uncle in Port Burwell, Ontario.
Maria Moore was born in Mexico but she has spent most of her life in southwestern Ontario. She has had a fulfilling career as a registered nurse with a focus on mental health, addictions and advocacy. With her first book, she hopes to bring awareness of the specific traumas and abuse in the private world of Mennonites and to make it safe to disclose and seek treatment without shame.
Not My Kind of Mennonite (Friesen Press 2023) was first edited by Meghan Negrijn of A Good Idea Publications in Arnprior and can be purchased at Mill Street Books in Almonte and White Pine Books in Arnprior.
A description of the book is available at: www.notmykindofmennonite.com