Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

This is Rhoda Janzen, author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.  I found out about this book via my daily "trying to sell you something" email from Barnes and Noble.  B&N suggested it as a good read and provided a discount coupon for purchase.  I immediately emailed David about it and he told me that I should get it; David had already heard about it and said that it was well reviewed.  THEN, when I had already purchased the book, David and I were up in Kansas for our showers and Donna mentioned that she had already read this book!  Donna and I always relay what good books we've read recently and she encouraged me to read it soon!  All the more reason for me to read it up quickly!

Now, I don't want to get into a religious discussion here...after all, this isn't a religious blog.  But, the Mennonite religion is the environment into which I'm marrying...which provides you guys with insight as to why David and Donna had both heard about this book (it's mentioned in the book how all Mennonites seem to know each other and from what I've seen, this appears to be pretty accurate!).  Whenever I mention David being Mennonite, I get a lot of, "Isn't that the people where the women wear funny hats and long dresses?" or something to that effect.  This is not necessarily the case.  Like in any religion, there are differing variances of practice.  You will see Mennonites that will wear hats and long skirts, not listen to the radio or watch television, etc.  However, don't assume they all are this way.  In fact, there is an excellent Appendix at the end of this book that provides some background information about the Mennonite religion (how it was founded, it's relation to the Amish and so forth).

Anyway, back to the book!  The gist is that Rhoda Janzen's husband has left her for a man he met on a week later she is involved in a horrific car she goes back home to her Mennonite roots to lick her wounds and recover.  If you are looking for a good laugh-out-loud book that might provide you with a little insight into this community, pick this book up!  Now, if you are offended by crude humor...I'm talking bathroom humor and the like...I'm not sure I would recommend you reading this book.  There are a few instances regarding these types of situations and they are funny, but a little bit "out there" as far as being couth.  Oh yea, and there is the occasional curse word (I'm talking maaaaybe 5-10 throughout the entire read).

Janzen's purpose in writing this book was not to be bitter, but find the humor in her situation.  She describes how when everything in your life is going wrong, sometimes going home is best because that's where you find out who you truly are.  Then, you can dust yourself back off and move forward from that point.  I love this moral, by the way.

Below is an interview with Janzen regarding this book.  I enjoyed this interview and hope you do too.  If you happen to read this book, let me know and we can discuss!


  1. Sounds like a great read! I am looking for some good books right now so I will look for this. From your description it sounds right up my alley and I love learning about new religions!

  2. Sound like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the review.

  3. This sounds like a fascinating don't see much current fiction that deals with religion like that. I don't know much about Mennonites, but I'd love to know more.



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