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

by Rhoda Janzen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5661604,674 (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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Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
A non-fiction account of a woman who was raised Mennonite and returns to her parents house after a divorce and an accident. The most fascinating part of the story for me was that I learned that Mennonites are not all separatists. She went to public school and was raised in the modern world (though she was not allowed all the modern amenities that her peers were allowed.) The book itself was interesting and I did read the whole book. But I wouldn't actually recommend the book to others. It was just meh. ( )
  KamGeb | Jul 1, 2017 |
I listened to this book. It took me a while to "get" the tone of the narrator, which initially sounded so flippant that I wasn't taking the book seriously and nearly stopped during the first chapter. I'm glad I kept going. It's an interesting memoir of growing up in a Mennonite household, distancing herself from it as an adult, and returning after the breakup of her marriage. Coincidentally, I was reading Swing Low by Miriam Toews at the same time, and she too grew up in a small Mennonite community and left it. Though I suspect Miriam was much more of an outsider from girlhood, they both share a similar perspective on the positives and negatives of their upbringing. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
After her abusive, bipolar husband of fifteen years leaves her for a man named Bob, Rhoda suffers a severe car accident and decides to move back home to recover and piece her life together. What follows is a acquaintance with the oddities of the Mennonite community.

With snarky humor and pointed ribbing, Rhoda walks us through her life as a Mennonite before she decide to go to college and leave her antiquated home town behind. Rhoda examines what benefits a Mennonite upbringing has as well as the many handicaps it has added to her life.

I found this book an intimate glimpse into a very closed society and discovered much I could relate to regarding the difficulties of leaving home and the equally difficult proposition of coming back. ( )
  Juva | Nov 18, 2016 |
Very enjoyable and funny to boot. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
All other reading was ditched, for this. There are a zillion holds on it at the library so it's read it or lose it. ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (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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HighBridge Audio

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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