Rach'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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Jun 29, 11

bookshelves: memoir, recommended, ebook, non-fiction, challenge-11-summer, 2011
Read from June 22 to 26, 2011

I really enjoy Rhoda Janzen's style of writing. She is funny, uses smart words, and has an interesting story to tell. The stories from her childhood were fascinating to me, and her fond remembrances made me look back on my own childhood fondly. I was not raised Mennonite as she was, but I was raised in the church, and though my parents were fairly strict when I was a child, it's reached a point now that, although their religion beliefs have not changed, they've become quite liberal in many ways. Rhoda's mother comes across as caring, kind, and thoughtful, and I would say that my own mother is the same. I also found in interesting how as an adult, she both rejected and clung to the teachings and ideology of her childhood. I also enjoyed Rhoda's notes on life as an academic, especially as I have quite a few friends who work in academia, and it made me think of them.

What didn't I like about this book then? Well, for one, I don't think it was organized very well. I really enjoyed the brief history of the Mennonites that Rhoda gave us, but unfortunately, it was the last chapter in the book, and felt like more of an afterthought than important background information. I expected her story to continue, and suddenly it was over. Also, she has a tendency to be redundant about certain key facts. By the first or second chapter of the book, we know that Rhoda's husband has left her for a man named Bob that he met on gay.com. Still, it seems each chapter contains a reference to "Bob from gay.com". I understand that this person and this event is a definitely moment in her life, but we understand. We get the reference. You don't have to keep talking about it.
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06/23/2011 page 143
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