Kathleen Pooler's Reviews > Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl

Mennonite Daughter by Marian Longenecker Beaman
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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 push the boundaries despite the punishment of being locked in the damp, dark cellar.

The strong, loving women in her life—her mother, her paternal grandmother and Auntie Ruthie whose house on Anchor Road she retreats to—serve as role models and provide balance and security for her. Yet, either she never told them about the abuse or these women simply chose not to confront their husband/son or brother. Perhaps it was part of the Mennonite culture to reign in a strong-willed child, supposedly for the child’s own good. It is this conflict and drama that keeps this story flowing and kept this reader turning the pages. The readers senses her deep yearning to live a “fancy” life and feels relief when she is able to break away. It is in this freedom that our heroine finds forgiveness and peace toward her father and the Mennonite culture. We see that although she has left, that she will always be Mennonite at heart.

This memoir is very well-written with vivid scenic details and a fluid pace. It was truly a joy to read and be invited into another world in such an engaging way. I highly recommend this memoir to anyone who is interested in another culture or just wants to settle in with a good read.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 16, 2019 – Shelved

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