Friday, September 10, 2010

Review: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen

First line: The year I turned forty-three was the year I realized I should have never taken my Mennonite genes for granted.

From the back cover: Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on, but that same week a car accident left her seriously injured. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda's good-natured mother suggested she get over her heartbreak by dating her first cousin - he owned a tractor, see.)

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.

My thoughts: I have to say that one of the reasons I choose this book was because of the cover - the little black dress set against the turquoise background just pulled me in. It is a fascinating book that chronicles Rhoda's divorce and shares childhood adventures and misadventures growing up Mennonite. Not knowing much about the Mennonites, I felt Rhoda gave us just enough information to whet our appetites, plus the primer at the end of the book helped to fill in some blanks. There are so many parts of this book that are very funny, particularly Rhoda's parents. Filled with honest introspection, this book pulled me in. I look forward to seeing what else Rhoda Janzen will write. 

I received a complimentary copy of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen from Henry Holt and Company Publishers to review. 


  1. Your review sounds like this may be a fun book to read. I doubt I will ever read it, I have to many books waiting to be read on my TRB list.

  2. I just saw that this book was named one of the most popular books of 2010 and now you really like it and so I am thinking I really need to read this one! I agree with you too about the cover thing - I can't tell you how many books I've read based on covers alone :)

  3. Sounds like a good read and you're right about the cover - it def. draws you in :)

  4. I definitely want to read this book - thanks for the review!

  5. Great review!

    I gave you an award.

  6. Hi Kristin:
    Please stop by my place, I have an award for you.


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