Here is the link to the original post for Angie's blog: ANGIE'S ANGELS ARE KIDS AND FURKIDS
Book Review: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
Title: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
Author: Rhoda Janzen
Publication Date: 2009
Genre: Adult Nonfiction/Memoir
Summary Via Goodreads.com:
"Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dressis an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead."
I don’t think I have ever read a better memoir! Rhoda Janzen is from a Mennonite family, but has never really truly agreed with things that they do or don’t do. Not completely anyway. So when she is old enough she leaves to pursue things that “normal” Mennonites wouldn’t, like a career in literature and teaching. She also marries a non-Mennonite man. Rhoda describes her life in such a way that she is not by any means disrespecting her Mennonite roots or other Mennonites, but she is not going along with everything they say either. She writes this book in a, this is just how it is, kind of way. It was a fantastic read which I couldn’t put down! I found myself agreeing with her on things and it is one of the few books I have read that actually had me smiling on the outside and laughing out loud while reading. She knows just how to put comedic twists on serious issues without sounding like she is making fun or them or disrespecting them. I also have never read a book where so much happens in it, I mean I know memoirs are like that, but this one went above what I thought would be in it. Rhoda’s Mother cracked me up too, being a woman who isn’t even trying to be funny, but is. If we could all be more like Rhoda and her Mom and have a “tell it like it is” way there would never be any question as to what we are thinking or wanting.
I enjoyed the incite into the Mennonite ways too. It was very enlightening and educational to read about Rhoda’s life as a child growing up as Mennonite. I found myself thinking how uninformed I really was or how misinformed I was on the true meaning and beliefs of Mennonites. I enjoyed this book for many reasons and I admire the author who had the courage and took the time to write about her life and its many ups and downs. I took a lot away from this book and am very glad to have read it. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone that needs a good laugh, smile, and a down to earth good read.