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Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Mennonite in a Little Black Dress , please sign up. As a late arrival in Amish country, I found this memoir truly informative and fun to read. Is it authentic? She seems so lively, I loved the book. Kim Riffle Yes, it's real. There is a sequel that is equally good.

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Did anyone else try to make borscht after reading this? Chana I made borscht while reading it, but unrelated to the book. I had a surplus of beets, carrots, cabbage, onions and potatoes. So borscht it was. It …more I made borscht while reading it, but unrelated to the book. It turned out delicious. I also put in crushed tomatoes, vinegar, honey and spiced with plenty of dill.

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Served hot. See all 3 questions about Mennonite in a Little Black Dress…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. You can read this book in one of two ways: either as a straight memoir by an English professor who had several personal challenges including a bad car accident who went home to her Mennonite parents to recover and wrote this book.

Very simplistic and fairly enjoyable, although as Mennonites are nowhere near as separated from modern society as the Amish, there are few interesting insights into a really different culture.


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Or you can read this as a thinly-disguised hate book against her ex-husband You can read this book in one of two ways: either as a straight memoir by an English professor who had several personal challenges including a bad car accident who went home to her Mennonite parents to recover and wrote this book.

Or you can read this as a thinly-disguised hate book against her ex-husband about whom she loses no opportunity to damn, slag, belittle, bad-mouth, deprecate and otherwise put-down the poor man. This is a much more enjoyable way to read the book as she exercises all her considerable powers of expression to disguise her bitterness and malice with such sweet expressions of faint praise whilst never losing an opportunity to portray herself as the unwitting victim of this absolute cad.

You have to feel sorry for the guy, it must have been hell getting into a verbal fight with such a clever user of words as a professional poet. Recommended for those who want to be, are about to be or actually are divorced from a terrible man especially if he went off with someone he met on gay.

View all 18 comments. Aug 07, Julie rated it did not like it Shelves: religion , lit-religious.

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I continued reading past the first chapter only by accident. I had set up the book on my nursing stand, and each time I finished nursing, I was too distracted with the baby to remember to change out the book. But if I'd had free hands, I'd have thrown it against the wall. In this book, Rhoda Janzen commits the following crimes: --she makes fun of her family members for being backwards hicks -- in mean ways --she makes snarky comments about almost everyone and everything -- snarky comments which she I continued reading past the first chapter only by accident.

In this book, Rhoda Janzen commits the following crimes: --she makes fun of her family members for being backwards hicks -- in mean ways --she makes snarky comments about almost everyone and everything -- snarky comments which she thinks are very clever, but usually are not --she writes as if she is telling the story to her best friend. Perhaps that is an effective technique for some types of books, but it never works here. Rather, it sounds as if she is re-working material that played well at the water cooler at work, but has now lost its mooring and audience. She was an awkward child embarrassed by her unpolished appearance.

This is not enough to make her fascinating. The fundamental problem underlying all of these issues is that Janzen can't decide whom she wants for an audience.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Most of the time, it seems that this book is a rough transcript of jokes she's told to her academic friends -- jokes where the Mennonite practices of her childhood are punchlines that only urbane, sophisticated academics can fully understand. This comes across as obnoxious. But then she drifts into a more sympathetic portrayal of some of these characters, particularly her mother, as if she is writing for those who are able to take a more nuanced and sympathetic view of religious cultures. Anyone even remotely capable of such a view would have been completely put off by the first tendency, however.

In short, I don't understand how this book ever was published.

I really had no idea that such a manuscript could get through editing. But here it is. For the record: I am an English professor, raised in a strict, conservative Christian family in a backwoods, rural area, who now lives in a town full of clever, urban sophisticates. Rhoda, you do not speak for those of us who have walked that road.

Let's get that clear. View all 15 comments. Shelves: non-fiction , reviewed , , biography , religion , wit. The way she chose to deal with her husband leaving her for a man, without excessive bitterness or vindictiveness showed a lot of class. When her life was crumbling around her they were there for her with steaming bowls of borscht. The last chapter where she answers all your questions about what Mennonites are really like?

Retraction: Okay, some vindictiveness. She did write a tell-all memoir after all: Humour bite View all 38 comments.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Paperback) | Women & Children First

Oct 06, Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it it was ok Shelves: biography-memoir , giggles , nonfiction. I read the first 60 pages of this book one night when I couldn't sleep. It had me laughing hysterically many times in that 60 pages. The kind of laughter where you're glad no one else is around because you're honking and braying and sucking in air like some kind of asthmatic donkey. Sad to say, she pretty much used up her good material in that first 60 pages.

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The rest of the book is well-written enough. She is , after all, an English prof. But it consists mostly of long, rambling shaggy-dog sto I read the first 60 pages of this book one night when I couldn't sleep. But it consists mostly of long, rambling shaggy-dog stories that would be interesting only if you actually knew the people in the stories. She starts in on one, then shifts with her stream of consciousness to a different story from long ago, then drifts back into the original story. A few good laughs here and there, but nothing like the early part of the book.

I lost count of how many times she had to remind us throughout the book that her husband left her for a guy named Bob that he met on Gay. We get it, okay? That's the chance you take when you marry an admittedly bi-sexual guy just six weeks after you meet him. And honey, his sexuality was the least of your problems. The last chapter on Mennonite history and practices is very interesting and worth the read. I never knew that the Amish were rebel Mennonites who broke away in because the Mennonites were "too liberal.

Who'd a thunk? View all 7 comments. Shelves: nonfiction , mem-wars. Instagram Twitter Facebook Amazon Pinterest I'm actually shocked by how many people seemed to dislike this memoir. It has a rather grim 3.

I have a soft spot for books with low ratings and thought the premise was intriguing, so I threw caution to the wind and picked up the book anyway. I enjoy memoirs written by women, especially if their experiences differ vastly from my own. As a non-rel Instagram Twitter Facebook Amazon Pinterest I'm actually shocked by how many people seemed to dislike this memoir.

As a non-religious person, I was immensely curious about what the life of someone raised in the environment of such a restrictive religion must be like.