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Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl

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4.92  ·  Rating details ·  12 ratings  ·  11 reviews
What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella m ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published 2019 by Spindletree Books
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4.92  · 
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 ·  12 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Kathleen Pooler
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mennonite Daughter is a heartwarming story of the author’s Mennonite roots, complete with photos, recipes, and sketches done by the author’s graphic artist husband, and told with a fresh, lilting voice. Yet underlying the bucolic picture of the Pennsylvania countryside that she masterfully paints of the characters and traditions that shaped her is her struggle with her father who was physically abusive. Throughout the story, the reader sees the sass and spunk of this eldest child who tends to pu ...more
Katherine Sartori
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
There’s a lot to like about Marian Longnecker Beaman’s memoir about her growing up years in Pennsylvania. As a tourist, I visited the Amish country in Lancaster where Marian lived, but I never learned about the Mennonites who also resided there. Until now.

Though I’m of the same generation as Marian, my growing up years in California in the 1950s & 1960s were quite different and yet I discovered some similarities.

I’ve always taken for granted the freedom I enjoyed as a teen, wearing “poofy”
...more
Shirley Showalter
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
What do you think when you see a woman wearing a Mennonite prayer covering? "Though light as air, the prayer covering carried the weight of tradition," says author Marian Beaman, summarizing beautifully one of the most elusive symbols of female religious submission.

If you think you understand that symbol, you need to read this book. Author Marian Beaman complicates stereotypes, exposes double standards, and probes paradoxes of what it means to grow up Mennonite--especially if you are a whip-smar
...more
Laurie Buchanan
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I expected to find kindness in Marian Longenecker Beaman's memoir, MENNONITE DAUGHTER: THE STORY OF A PLAIN GIRL. And I did. The unexpected — abuse — came in gritty remembrances of a young girl's search for identity, one that isn't plain.

In this captivating look at a patriarchal culture, Beaman's writing imbues simple scenes with complex emotional undercurrents that kept me turning the pages right to the satisfying end. I highly recommend this book.
Sherrey
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Marian Longenecker Beaman's memoir shares heartwarming vignettes of life in Lancaster County, PA. The author paints images with words of the joys and frustrations of growing up as a Mennonite. I visited Lancaster County several years ago. But I was not as aware of the Mennonites and their restrictions as I was of the Amish. So, some of Beaman's revelations were surprising to me. 
 
The author's use of detail in descriptions of people and places brought them to life. Thus, the reader feels an actua
...more
Melodie Davis
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love biographies, autobiographies, and memoir—including the memories of ordinary citizens. When we read a memoir, don’t most of us look for epiphanies and connections that may be similar to our own lives or upbringing?

Marian Longenecker Beaman’s debut book, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, takes the reader through early childhood events and memories—some of them funny and heartwarming and others that are painful: difficult to take and understand.

Early on I was drawn to Marian’s
...more
D.G. Kaye
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mennonite Daughter is a beautifully written story about the growing up life and aspirations of one feisty and longing-to-be fancy girl who although practicing her faith obediently, longs to be free from some of the conforms of the Mennonite lifestyle.

Beaman, a girl, not unlike any other girlie girl, striving for her chance at a life free from head coverings and traditional clothing, as her desires since childhood grow to break free from tradition. We learn a lot about the Mennonite way of life,
...more
Karen
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this touching memoir of her life growing up in a Mennonite community and later coming to the decision that she would leave the church, but not her relationship with God, Marian Longenecker Beaman touches on many common elements of a young woman’s coming of age story, such as patriarchy, agency, and culture.

Through her strong personality and her struggle to understand why?, Marian gradually comes to accept the life she is meant to lead, and realizes that she carries forward into her new life m
...more
Pamela
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't know author Marian Beaman, at least not in person. But I’ve been reading her blog for more than a year, including her posts in which she explores the world she inhabited growing up Mennonite. I got hooked on her life story, and thus was looking forward to her memoir MENNONITE DAUGHTER: The Story of a Plain Girl. This book did not disappoint and even rose above my expectations. I fell into the life of the young Mennonite girl, Marian, as I read about her life of being "plain" while longin ...more
Jill
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Over the years, I’ve gotten to know author Marian Beaman through her blog on WordPress. Each week she shares snip-its of her life growing up in the Mennonite community in Pennsylvania. I especially enjoy her Aunt Ruthie’s diary excerpts. As a child, I visited the Amish country in Lancaster, but I didn’t know much about the Mennonites, so her blog has taught me so much. When I learned Marian planned to write a memoir, I anxiously awaited its publication. Marian’s memoir MENNONITE DAUGHTER: The St ...more
Nancy Chadwick
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mennonite Daughter is wonderfully written! Beaman leaves nothing out when telling of her coming-of-age story in a Mennonite family as she finds her way through her roots to become the person she's wanted to be. Depicted with emotions and fears, challenges and rewards, her story is authentic. I enjoyed seeing the well-placed photos, especially the ones in the back of the book, and even reading the recipes! Though she considered herself a plain girl, Beaman was far from it in Mennonite Daughter.

Linda Hoye
rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2019
Marian Beaman
Jun 01, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  (Review from the author)
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Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, records the charms and challenges of Mennonite girlhood in mid-twentieth century Pennsylvania. The writer’s formative years coincided with the decade before which the Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church experienced major change, espe ...more