Sara'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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's review
Dec 29, 10

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Read in October, 2010

A perfectly fluffy hospital read. Janzen, after a series of disasters (a botched hysterectomy, a cheating husband, and a catastrophic car accident) moves in with her parents for financial and medical reasons, and reflects on the wild discrepancies between her life as a cosmopolitan poet/ academic and their lives as strictly observant Mennonites. Janzen has trouble hitting exactly the right tone -- at times she's making fun of her sister-in-law in rather vicious excess, at times she's sweetly comic in her describing her mother's unstoppable optimism, at other times she's disturbingly on target about the sexism she experiences in her own family due to her religion. It's all an interesting potpourri, but it really jerks from serious to sweet in uneven ways. My advice? Read it while recovering from surgery, and let the pain drugs smooth over the rough edges for you.
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