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Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Rhoda Janzen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4751555,049 (3.3)90
Member:amyblue
Title:Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home
Authors:Rhoda Janzen
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read in 2012, memoir, unfinished

Work details

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen (2009)

  1. 20
    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (foggidawn)
    foggidawn: Both of these books deal with a woman looking for meaning and trying to deal with failed relationships in their past -- one travels the world, the other goes home, but both have written heartfelt and funny memoirs about the experience.
  2. 10
    The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman (Alliebadger)
  3. 10
    The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir by Elna Baker (LAKobow)
  4. 00
    Love Shrinks: A Memoir of a Marriage Counselor's Divorce by Sharyn Wolf (FFortuna)
  5. 00
    I'm Down: A Memoir by Mishna Wolff (amyblue)
    amyblue: Both books are funny and thoughtful memoirs of somewhat unusual childhoods.
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English (156)  Dutch (1)  All languages (157)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
Parts of this memoir were truly hysterically funny, parts were interesting, and parts were sorrowful. Perhaps the reason Janzen wrote it was in the hopes that it would be cathartic. As a woman who has achieved so much in terms of education, I hope she was able leave behind her censure of herself for her past marriage. We all do things we regret when the heart is involved, and recovery takes time, but those things also bring their own gifts and lessons. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jun 4, 2016 |
I enjoyed reading this first memoir about former Mennonite who goes back to her family while recovering from a divorce and an accident. It is both humorous and serious. The afterward has some details about Mennonites and their history, which was informative. ( )
  eliorajoy | May 23, 2016 |
Did I enjoy reading Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home?? Oh my, YES!!! Definitely educational, entertaining, interesting, rowdy, insightful, bawdy and absolutely hilarious! How could I NOT love a book that kept me engaged from start to finish!! The author, Rhoda Janzen, was reared in the Mennonite world; her writing glows with a patina of authenticity. We, as readers, are invited to vicariously experience her upbringing, her rebellion (of sorts) and the evolution she undergoes as she moves from the confines of a significantly cloistered childhood into the "world". I found it to be a fascinating process that she handled with an unflappable sense of humor, a willingness to learn (on so many levels) and an unflagging lust for life.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is the first in a series . . the books that follow have been added to my To Read list! Highly recommended. ( )
  idajo | May 8, 2016 |
This was an entertaining read. I am not a biography-lover, so it fell a little flat for me as the chapters wore on. However, the relationships were vibrant and well-played and the situations elicited a smile, smirk or grimace. I recommend this one. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Although this began funny, it isn't funny. It's serious, thought provoking, and very well written with bright spots of humor. You have to like someone who can laugh at themselves.

There's something to be said about someone in an abusive relationship, that when the relationship ends isn't bitter or whining.....who takes it for what it was and moves on with their lives. I like that!

My favorite quote from Rhoda's mother in regards to young male religious zealots: "Oh, they'll mellow over time. When you're young faith is often a matter of rules. What you should do and what you shouldn't do, that kind of thing. But as you get older you realize, that faith is really a matter of relationship---with God, with the people around you, and with members of your community."

I had a difficult time putting it down, but I did have to go to sleep....and it kept my attention all the while playing FV, so I read more than I played. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
“Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” is loose and gossipy, organic and unhurried without losing control. It has “a real nice shape,” to use a compliment one matchmaker applies to Janzen herself... I loved this book, and Rhoda Janzen. She is a terrific, pithy, beautiful writer, a reliable, sympathetic narrator and a fantastically good sport.
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Mary Loewen Janzen
First words
The year I turned forty-three was the year I realized I should have never taken my Mennonite genes for granted.
Quotations
"When you're young, faith is often a matter of rules. What you should do and shouldn't do, that kind of thing. But as you get older, you realize that faith is really a matter of relationship - with God, with the people around you, with the members of your community" (p 137)
Wrapped in his own misery and despair, he was incapable of the simple practiced presence that love demands. (p 171)
I'd never minded the little things in Nick's behavior; I'd never even noticed them. It was after Nick had left me that I learned the lesson: it's when you don't love somebody that you do notice the little things. Then you mind them. You mind them terribly. (p 181)
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Book description
Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her injured. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda's good-natured mother suggested she get over her heartbreak by dating her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.)

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805092250, Paperback)

"It is rare that I literally laugh out loud while I'm reading, but Janzen's voice—singular, deadpan, sharp-witted and honest—slayed me." —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her injured. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda's good-natured mother suggested she get over her heartbreak by dating her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.)

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A hilarious and moving memoir--in the spirit of Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron--about a woman who returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after a personal crisis.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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