Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda JanzenA 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
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.
Rhoda Janzen talks about Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
At first, the worst week of Janzen's life—she gets into a debilitating car wreck right after her husband leaves her for a guy he met on the Internet and saddles her with a mortgage she can't afford—seems to come out of nowhere, but the disaster's long buildup becomes clearer as she opens herself up. Her year relationship with Nick had always been punctuated by manic outbursts and verbally abusive behavior, so recognizing her co-dependent role in their marriage becomes an important part of Janzen's recovery even as she tweaks the 12 steps just a bit. The healing is further assisted by her decision to move back in with her Mennonite parents, prompting her to look at her childhood religion with fresh, twinkling eyes. Janzen is always ready to gently turn the humor back on herself, though, and women will immediately warm to the self-deprecating honesty with which she describes the efforts of friends and family to help her re-establish her emotional well-being. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author.
She is the author of Babel's Stair ,. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
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Two weeks later a car crash left her with a crushed clavicle and leg injuries. Broken in every sense, she headed back to the place of her upbringing, the Californian Mennonite community where her parents still live. Then the fun really begins.
What is a woman in her early 40s to do when her brilliant, gorgeous, manic-depressive, verbally abusive, charming control freak of a husband of 15 years leaves her for a man named Bob, just before a drunken driver gives her so many broken bones that she has to inch down stairs on her backside? In fact, the whole book reads as if Janzen had dictated it to her best non-Menno friend, in her bathrobe, over cups of tea. Nothing much happens here, plotwise. No problem. Also in California, Janzen dates a couple of mildly inappropriate men: a Christian rocker who wears a nail around his neck and a Mennonite cutie 17 years her junior.