Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

Ever see a movie and then realize you saw all the good parts in the trailer? Well, I read a lot on this book at one point because I was thinking about choosing it for my book club to read, turns out I read about all the good parts in the reviews. Chalk that up to reason number 37 I don’t like to read about a book first!

In this book a woman goes back to her Mennonite roots after a bad accident and divorce, which is good because her mother is the best part of the whole book. She’s funny in a lets have a conversation on if marrying a pothead or your first cousin would be worse while standing in a checkout line sort of way.  I’m going to risk going into more detail than I’d like in my little reviews and tell you  my big problem with the book. It starts out humorous, author seems able to laugh at the fact that her husband left her for a guy she met on gay.com. Then you hit some serious chapters where you find out that he was bipolar, abusive, they had been on and off (divorced and remarried!) for fifteen years,  he had been in a previous relation ship with a man and gay.com “Bob” had been calling the house. That is not funny.  I was almost offended by the fact that the situation was originally put in such a humorous light. You could call it making lemonade from lemons, but I think sometimes lemons that have gone bad shouldn’t be made into lemonade.

Would I recommend it? No. Got to the library/bookstore. Read chapter one about first cousin Waldemar. Then resist the temptation to read the rest of the book, and put it back. That first chapter is really good, some of the rest of it is good, but it’s not cohesive and really once you debate between first cousin and pot head for potential husband material it’s all down hill from there.

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One comment on “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

  1. Susie says:

    I agree with your review and will add that it, along with many other memoirs, could use a good deal more cutting. Give the current version to the author’s mother, cut and then give to the public. We’d all be happier.

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