Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Memoir Mondays... mennonite in a little black dress, a memoir of going home by Rhoda Janzen

A Memoir of Going Home

"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."

They say "you can always go home", and that's exactly what Rhoda Janzen does in mennonite in a little black dress. After a hysterectomy, a husband who left her for a guy named Bob at the age of "over 40", and a horrible car accident, Rhoda was having a bad stretch of luck! But instead of Rhoda crying in her pillow at night, she picks herself up and off she goes- back to her loving family who have more than few endearing quirks. With a wry sense of humor and a flair for putting words to paper you can't help but turn those pages and laugh as she writes about love, her family and her faith!

It seems that Rhoda couldn't wait to shed her somewhat strict Mennonite upbringing- but as we travel to where her life arrives at the end of the book, we also travel back to her childhood, her friendships and relationships with her family. Though there's that touch of sarcasm in her descriptions, the way she writes about her family and growing up Mennonite is hysterical!, this is also a heart-warming tale, because you can feel the love that Rhoda feels for her family and friends come off the page.

The writing is terrific! The story will make you laugh and cry at the same time! And in the world of memoirs this is one you will definitely enjoy! Rhoda Janzen is a refreshing writer! Brutally Honest, such as dealing with her 'pee bag' & yet the story is charming... This is a woman who has the strength to overcome some incredibly bad luck... You may not become a Borscht loving convert, but you'll laugh as Rhoda describes Borscht as catnip for Mennonites! And you can also read her Mennonite history primer in the back of the book, where she sets the record straight...

"Mennonite girls do not put out, no matter how alluring we are in our bonnets and aprons."

Would you like to read a little of mennonite in a little black dress?! Here's an excerpt of Chapter One! I want to thank Ashley of Henry Holt and Co. for sharing this book with me! Thanks Ashley I loved it!

*P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!

5 comments:

Book Bird Dog said...

Nice review of the book! I have this one to review as well and looking forward to it.

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I've had this book on my wishlist for awhile, and after the holidays i'm going to buy it. I can't wait to read it!

Suzanne said...

Hi Book Bird Dog & Jennifer!
You both will enjoy this! Very funny! Rhoda has a wonderful way of poking fun at herself and her family, but still show us how important her famliy is to her!
Enjoy! I look forward to seeing how you both like the book!

Alyce said...

I just reviewed this book yesterday, and so your review caught my eye. I really enjoyed reading about Rhoda's life too. She is such a talented comedic writer!

Suzanne said...

Hi Alyce,
I just read your wonderful review of this book too! Who knew being a Mennonite could be such funny material!

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