Sunday, April 17, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks ----- Week 16 ----- Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

For the 16th week of the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, I'm going to read Mennonite in a Little Black Dress  by Rhoda Janzen.  It was in the Publisher's Weekly Top 100 Books of 2009. 

It seems like people who have read the book are split - either it's one that they enjoy and laugh as they read...while others can't even finish the book. So, I'm not sure what to expect.

According to some reviews on, the book is not about learning about Mennonite culture and beliefs, though there are mentions of what life is like in a Mennonite community.

The book is actually a personal memoir about how a series of unfortunate incidents brought the author back home. Rhoda Janzen addresses some rather sad and serious issues with style and humor that makes the book captivating and easy to read.

The author weaves childhood memories with anecdotes from the months spent visiting her parents (her father who is "the Mennonite equivalent of the Pope" and mother who is a pragmatic nurse and eternal optimist); her friends and family; and the Mennonite culture.

As the memoir progresses, the author shares her recovery (of roots and self) from her mentally ill husband and their failed marriage.

After I'm done reading the book, I'll come back and note whether I enjoyed reading it or not.  It certainly is a departure from what I've been reading recently.


At Home With SewSuzanne said...

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Love visiting your blog :)

Fairy Tale Mama said...

I'm in the "I enjoyed it" camp. It wasn't the most profound book I've ever read, but it did have some laugh out loud moments. My review is here---