Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

by Rhoda Janzen

Gail Reid: When Rhoda Janzen is injured in a car accident shortly after her husband of 15 years dumps her for a man, she postpones her sabbatical and returns to the comfort of her parents' California home. Her parents are leaders of the Mennonite church so the worldly Rhoda's return to her Mennonite roots is a distinctly different kind of memoir.

This story evokes themes from Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" as well as a humorous response to everything reminiscent of David Sedaris and Nora Ephron. What's uniquely different is the Mennonite angle. Few of us have insight into the beliefs and everyday life of this fascinating religious group.

I don't like to bash a book that many people will, in fact, enjoy. After all, it has been on the bestseller's list for several months. However, the humor is much too caustic for me and sometimes crosses the line to mean spirited. The author is very impressed with her academic credentials and she does have an admirable vocabulary; but, I picked it up the first time that she was a smart cookie. Enough!
Rating: ***

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