- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (April 13, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805092250
- ISBN-13: 978-0805092257
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 445 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home Paperback – April 13, 2010
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“This book is not just beautiful and intelligent, but also painfully -- even wincingly -- funny. It is rare that I literally laugh out loud while I'm reading, but Rhoda Janzen's voice -- singular, deadpan, sharp-witted and honest -- slayed me, with audible results. I have a list already of about fourteen friends who need to read this book. I will insist that they read it. Because simply put, this is the most delightful memoir I've read in ages.” ―Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“This is an intelligent, funny, wonderfully written memoir. Janzen has a gift for following her elegant prose with the perfect snarky aside. If it weren't for the weird Mennonite food, I would like very much to be her friend.” ―Cynthia Kaplan, author of Why I'm Like This and Leave the Building Quickly
About the Author
Rhoda Janzen is the author of Babel's Stair, a collection of poems. Her poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Southern Review. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of California Poet Laureate in 1994 and 1997. She teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
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family's value system. Her sarcasm is humorous and witty and clever ( albeit acerbic) and I found the first half of the book more interesting and enjoyable than the latter part. It can probably be attributed to the fact that it became increasingly serious as she became more introspective and self-aware. There are several giggle aloud passages but underlying all of her reasons to deny her past she truly has true respect for it and her Mennonite family and roots. There is an interesting and informative historical addition at the end of the book about the Mennonites.
Her story tells of the ending of her fifteen year marriage to a guy named Bob, who her husband met on gay.com. She takes refuse in in going home to her family who are Mennonites. Somewhere around half way through this memoir takes a turn, and while still being humorous, a lot of life's true meaning tumbled forth. In realizing she is co-dependent, she makes her own 12 steps, which had me laughing out loud. She talks about understanding our humanness, and those around us, forgiveness, and looking at one's own side of the street. While others hold on to their pain or victimization, not Janzen. She is able to move forward with her life.
While the Mennonite faith was not discussed seriously throughout the book, the endnotes have a very informative account of their history and beliefs. A quick side note...pay attention to the characters names. At first they breezed right past me, then I realized how entertaining they were in there own right. This is a quick funny read that is bound to lift your spirits!