Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

My first book review! As exciting as it is, I must say that I am indeed still getting used to this, so please bear with me.

Sometime last year I started learning about the Amish culture, and then about the related Mennonite culture. When I came across this memoir I had no idea what to expect from it, but in the end this one made it to my list of favorite books of all time. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is the true story of Rhoda Janzen’s ‘mid-life crisis’ and what happens when she returns home to her Mennonite roots.

Though I did in fact learn quite a bit about Mennonite society from Janzen’s accounts, what really got me was the humor that she looks upon all events with. I have to say that I spent most of my time reading this book laughing out loud, literally, regardless of the strange looks my mother gave me. This can be attributed mainly to the very matter of fact telling of a visit to Kohl’s with her mother, and her mother’s ability to stop a Seeing Eye dog in its tracks.

Janzen’s memoir takes you through her difficult marriage, to their second divorce, and the struggles she faced in overcoming that final separation. She talks about a serious accident she had and the troubles she faced being seriously injured and living alone in her big, secluded home. Janzen also writes of her conflicting feelings in saying goodbye to her child rearing days. Finally, she writes of her experiences going home, going back to her family and friends who lived in a world much different than her own and the good and the bad times she had with them.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. I laughed and my eyes got teary with her words. It is honest, funny, and well-written. Absolutely worth every second spent reading it!

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