Rating: ♥ ♥
This is the first book in my new post series “Book Club Selections”, as they are books that we have read for our book club ~ A Novel Idea!
Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.
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.
I will be completely honest with you, this book was difficult for me to get through. I stepped out of my box, which is why I wanted to join a book club, and this one to me was just not a winner. All things considered I did find humor in a few places! Sad to say, she pretty much used up her good material within the first few chapters, after that I felt as though she was rambling on, going no where. Here’s another thing, the author makes a point of mentioning that she is an English professor and a grammarian who is often asked to edit her colleagues’ research papers and has in fact taken on a paying editing gig in the wake of her divorce. Apparently, these editorial skills don’t extend to fact-checking (in which her copy editor also failed her), since the text is sprinkled with such things as “Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers” (the actual name is spelled Bonne Bell).
Although I think the part that kept me reading the book was that it was interesting to me all the skills that Mennonites have. Now a days you won’t find kids in the kitchen learning how to make bread or learning to sew. Still, this was a bizarre read. I had no idea what to expect of this book but I’m glad that I stepped out of my ‘norm’ to take a shot at it!