Jaclyn’s Review: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home
written by Rhoda Janzen
published by Henry Holt and Co., 2009

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Did I enjoy this book? 
I’ve actually never read a memoir before, so this was a new experience for me. Once I got past the fact that there really isn’t a plot, I found this book cute. I like the idea of simply peeking inside someone else’s life for a bit. You get to see the funny, the crazy, a little sad, and ALL the real! You can definitely tell that the writer has an English background (she’s a professor), because she uses a very broad vocabulary. Overall, this was a unique read for me and I’m glad the author shared a piece of her life with us.


Would I recommend it? If you want to read a memoir, this is worth the time. Since there was no plot, I never felt an overwhelming desire to pick this up and keep reading. I was never eager to see what happened next–something I need from a good book. If you’ve never read a memoir before either, I wonder if there is a better choice to introduce you to the genre. Overall, it was a good read, but I wouldn’t pick it up to reread.



About the book – from Goodreads: A hilarious and moving memoir—in the spirit of Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron—about a woman who returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after a personal crisis.

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.


Happy 2