Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

  • Type: Books
  • By: Rhoda Janzen
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Biography & Memoir
  • Recommended by: Mari G.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780805089257
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Do Mennonite (pacifist) families really sing songs about soldiers and potato salad?

One thing is absolutely clear when you begin reading this book by a local Michigan university professor: either you hate it because it seems mean-spirited or you love it because it is entirely hilarious. In what seems like a short blink, Rhoda Janzen experiences a botched hysterectomy and then finds that her husband Nick, is leaving her for a man. Two weeks later she gets into a car crash giving her not just broken bones, but multiple Frankenbruises. With angst mounting about how she is going to pay the mortgage now that Nick has left the house and in need of convalescence, she asks her mother if she can come home—home to the Mennonite community she left years ago. For some readers Janzen’s memoir seems like a series of subtle digs at conservative Christian communities, but for others it is a celebration of family ties and the cultural-religious upbringing one is born into. Readers may wish they might have learned something more substantial about the Mennonite Christian tradition, but they do learn how Janzen views it and how she heals as a result of it. Worth listening to on CD or MP3. It’s that funny.