Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mennonites Wear Little Black Dresses?

I just finished reading Mennonite in a Little Black Dress By Rhoda Janzen.

And before I say anything else, you should head over to Reading is Cheaper than Therapy because we're discussing the heck out of it.

OK, now for my general assessment of it. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed. The title + the inside front cover gave me a slightly different (better) impression of what the book was going to be about/laid out/presented/whatever.

While I LOVED, Rhoda's words and general writing style I didn't really seem to like Rhoda (sorry, if you ever read this Rhoda. maybe we should have coffee sometime, I'd probably like you better in person) and that really weighed on my general feelings of the book.

I was pulled in by the story of a women who was raised Mennonite, then departed during her education, married a man who left her 15 years later for a man he met on She then returns broken (literally and figuratively) to her parents' home to help recover. I was there. That's the story I wanted to read. But it ended up being so much more. There was a lot more to the marriage that left me screaming, "HOW COULD YOU REMAIN IN THIS MARRIAGE FOR 15 YEARS!?!?"

That and I kept getting the Mennonites and the Amish mixed up in my head. She would mention watching television and I would get distracted because I didn't think Mennonites even had electricity. The Appendix was a primer on Mennonites and it would have helped to have that in the front or even for me to have noticed it on the Table of Contents page. But I don't like to know what's coming so I never really read chapter titles on the Table of Contents.

I did enjoy the stories of her childhood and other Mennonite musings. That was fun and interesting. Plus, Rhoda does tell a good story.

Overall, I'm glad I read it. It led to some nice discussion with friends. But it was a slow read because I just lost interest.

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