Friday, September 11, 2009

Twenty Nine - Decision and Destiny - Deva Grantt

This book is actually the second part of a three-part series, but I didn't realize that until after I picked it up from the give away shelf at work. The focus on the book is the Duvoisin family - with the main character being their governess Charmaine. Charmaine watches the three youngest children of the Duvoisin family - while navigating the family politics with the two oldest brothers.

Set in the 1830s, this book is full of intrigue that you would find normally in a soap opera. The classic "boy meets girl and they immediately clash but end up being attracted to each other" plot line runs throughout the book.

I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series and see how the authors expand on the plot lines and cliff hangers at the end of the book.

Gantt, Deva. Decision and Destiny. Avon A (2009). 400 pages. ISBN 0061578258.

Twenty Eight - Mennonite in a Black Dress - Rhoda Janzen

This memoir starts with Rhoda's husband ditching her for a guy named Bob from Later that week, she ends up having a car accident and sustains multiple breaks throughout her body. Rhoda decides to head back to her parents house in Michigan for some R&R while she heals. The book continues to recount stories from Rhoda's past that relate to the different activities and persons that she sees while back at home.

One of my favorite chapters is when Rhoda lists off the top five Shame-Based foods for Mennonite youth lunches (from least to most):
  • Warmer Kartoffelsalat (Hot Potato Salad)
  • Damp Persimmon Cookies with a Raisin Walnut Motif
  • Platz
  • Coteletten-and-Ketchup Sandwich
  • Borscht
Rhoda recounts her memories in a refreshing and surprisingly witty voice. I read this non-fiction book while at the beach and was never bored. There is an interesting Mennonite history primer at the end of the book for the readers who might not know much about their beliefs.

Janzen, Rhoada. Mennonite in a Black Dress. Henry Holt & Co (2009). 256 pages. ISBN 080508925X.