Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home

by Rhoda Janzen
272 pages



After reading that Mormon Singles book and loving it so much I was on the lookout for a similar read.  Mennonite was on my shelf and it seemed like just the thing.

In this memoir the author shares how her life changed when her husband left her for "Bob the guy from Gay.com."  She was about to go on a sabbatical from teaching when this happened.  To make it worse, she was then in a car accident and needed a great deal of medical care.  Since she could no longer pay for her house or care for herself full time, she returned to her Mennonite parents home for the duration of her sabbatical.  The rest of the book details her experiences living again in a Mennonite community and the ways in which that community is different from the rest of modern America.

The blurb on the back of the book led me to believe that this would be a humorous yet thought-provoking read. I wasn't bad, but I really didn't fall in love with it either.  Rhoda is a bit more sarcastic and less introspective than Elna Baker (author of the Mormon Singles book I mentioned above) and I found that I wasn't as invested in her life as I was in Elna's.  Not to say that there weren't some fun and funny parts to this book, but I didn't feel like Rhoda was really learning anything (about herself or others) or changing her life.  And perhaps that wasn't the point of the book, but it IS what I was looking for.

11 comments:

Teresa said...

I tried reading this one and didn't get very far. On the other hand I also really enjoyed Elna's book.

Helen's Book Blog said...

I have this one on my shelf, but will now save it for summer since it sounds like more of a summer read. I'll also look into Mormon Singles. Thank you

bermudaonion said...

I wonder if this would have fared better if you hadn't read it right after the Mormon singles book.

Geosi Reads said...

I don't know if I would enjoy this. I've not read many memoirs. Do you think I would like this?

Trisha said...

When I read a memoir, I need the learning bit to make it relevant for me, so I understand the frustration!

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

Sorry you didn't like this. Perhaps it was your expectations.

Beth F said...

Oh shoot! I have this on my list and have the same expectations you had. Humm. I may give it a try anyway.

GMR said...

Aww, too bad it didn't live up to your expectations, it makes the experience a bit less enjoyable. Did however enjoy your review...can't say I've read any biographies along these lines, but I wouldn't necessarily say no to one either. Something to think about at the very least. Thanks for sharing!

Alyce said...

I remember liking this one, but it's been a while since I read it so I'd really have to go back to my review to see what my specific thoughts were.

Swapna said...

I was looking for a chick-lit type memoir out of this book, and it was what I got, so I was satisfied. If you were looking for something more, though, I can see how it would disappoint.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Love the honest review. I have this one on my shelf. I won it in a giveaway some time ago and just haven't picked it up yet. Maybe I'll save it for when I'm desperate for something new!

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