Friday, September 11, 2009

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.

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