A hilarious and moving memoir--in the spirit of Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron--about a woman who returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after a personal crisis
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 Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.
At first, the worst week of Janzen's life--she gets into a debilitating car wreck right after her husband leaves her for a guy he met on the Internet and saddles her with a mortgage she can't afford--seems to come out of nowhere, but the disaster's long buildup becomes clearer as she opens herself up. Her 15-year relationship with Nick had always been punctuated by manic outbursts and verbally abusive behavior, so recognizing her co-dependent role in their marriage becomes an important part of Janzen's recovery (even as she tweaks the 12 steps just a bit). The healing is further assisted by her decision to move back in with her Mennonite parents, prompting her to look at her childhood religion with fresh, twinkling eyes. (She provides an appendix for those unfamiliar with Mennonite culture, as well as a list of "shame-based foods" from hot potato salad to borscht.) Janzen is always ready to gently turn the humor back on herself, though, and women will immediately warm to the self-deprecating honesty with which she describes the efforts of friends and family to help her re-establish her emotional well-being. (Oct.)
Showing 1-3 of the 3 most recent reviews
1 . Not worth reading!
Posted August 21, 2010 by JLL , Washington DCI have never written a review for a book, but, this book was so bad, I did not finish it. If you are thinking about purchasing this one, KEEP LOOKING!
2 . Pick another book
Posted June 12, 2010 by Rosemary B , Simi ValleyI pushed myself to finish this book only because I paid for it, plus it has taken up space on my reader. It really borders on "don't like it and just ok".
3 . Doesn't quite make it ...
Posted May 28, 2010 by Pam G. , Santa FeThis book is, at best, mildly amusing and, at worst, just boring. It's like she uses every big word she can look up in a dictionary and yet virtually all of her comparisons are bathroom humor. Not worth the money.
Henry Holt and Co.
October 11, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.