Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

This book was referred to me but I'm sorry to say that I wasn't overly pleased with it. I expected more amusing Mennonite stories, but it turns out that Ms. Janzen's family are more "progressive" Mennonites and other than a few quips here and there, there wasn't much for her to tell. I will say that I'm thankful the author seemed to be mostly at peace with the terrible things that happened to her--she didn't spend pages and pages whining about her troubles, especially her husband leaving her for another man--because had she done so I would have spent the entire book wanting to say "That's what you get for marrying a guy you knew was bisexual!" Instead, she seems to have accepted her lot in life and although this book was no amazingly interesting memoir it did at least have its funny moments.

Other than this book not really being as interesting as I'd hoped, Janzen does tend to jump around a lot from subject to subject and again, not include as many funny Mennonite stories as one would think. She had some great ideas but the execution just wasn't right. 2/5 stars.



"An Americentric worldview...was incompatible with Christian values on the grounds that God loved all nations equally."

"Is it ever really a waste of time to love someone, truly and deeply, with everything you have?"

"My own friends often cited [our] relationship as evidence of a marriage that worked...What my friends saw was a cleverly designed wall...fierce yet fun, real but fake. They saw what [we were] always careful to show in public: our camaraderie, our simpatico mind-set, our adroit badinage."

"'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 members of your community.'"

"...it's when you don't love somebody that you do notice the little things. Then you mind them. You mind them terribly."

"You know what troubles me? The notion that we should reproduce just because we can. Seems to me we should be able to articulate some proactive, deliberated reasons for bringing a child into the world. When women cite their biological clock, I wonder if they've thought that out. Shouldn't human beings assess their biological urges as well as admit them? What if we're having babies to feel less lonely, more needed? If so, we're using someone to make us feel better about ourselves. That's a little creepy." Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, always like reading a good book review from a non-professional critic!

    And thanks for reading my latest post.

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