Tamra's Reviews > Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
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Aug 12, 2010

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bookshelves: memoir
Read from August 12 to 19, 2010

If we had 1/2 stars I would have given this a 3 1/2 but we don't so I decided to go with the lesser. This style of book is written in the same vain as Anne Lamott, Haven Kimmel or a Martha Beck. But for me it keeps missing the target. You just get going, riding the arrow ready to hit the bulls eye and then she diverges, a lot and next thing you know your off target not enjoying the ride so much anymore. Here's the thing(s); 1. Anne Lamott was taking us on her spiritual journey and shared with us her growth chart. It was like stepping on lily pads, each one taking us to the other side of the pond. There was meaning and purpose and each chapter led us a little further down the path. 2. Haven Kimmel made us laugh at sad stories of her life; all the while consistently threading and weaving her story so that eventually all the threads came together to complete a lovely story (same with her second book). 3. Martha Beck made me crazy with number of times she said she was a graduate of Harvard. Beyond EXCESSIVE! And she was so narcissistic that it made it hard to like her let alone relate to her. And I found a little bit of that in this book. I really got it. She is amazingly smart. A gift to the academic world. ETC. But I kept trying to find that common thread to weave the story together. I finished reading without knowing much more about the Mennonites than I did before I started. Although, there is an appendix at the end of the book with a little more explanation. I wanted to know why and what her process was for leaving the Mennonites. And she had such a bizarre marriage, it would have been great if she had spent a little more time delving in her motivation for being and staying with him. Maybe if she spent a little less time congratulating herself and a little more time filling in the blanks.

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Sidney Tamra, I'd love to hear if you like this book. I can't get it here in Blanding. I may need to buy it. Let me know!

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