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With a lyric sensibility and journalist's eye, Rhodes documents the six years that he and his family spent in a Hutterite colony in Minnesota , a place that some of his friends called a "religious Alcatraz." A chronicle of his existential journey from privileged son of the South and agnostic writer to member of a communal religious sect that opposes war, this is no titillating exposé or angry account from a disillusioned exile. While Rhodes and his wife and three children ultimately left the colony because of internal conflicts and concern for their daughters' circumscribed futures, the author manages to find a voice that is equal parts critical and compassionate. He and his family learned what it was like to be "strangers among strangers," he writes, adding, "It was not always a bad kind of loneliness." Rhodes at times reveals less than readers might desire (for example, what drew him and his family to the Hutterites other than a vague sense of "looking for something new in our lives"); still, his unaffected spirituality, historical acumen and prairie-studded prose make a lovely and moving read. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.