Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Rhoda Janzen
Atlantic Book - $36.99

"Janzen's story has also been compared to Elizabeth Gilbert's post-divorce reinvention journey Eat, Pray, Love, and there are obvious parallels. Except Janzen's story is both more self-aware and less contrived - and funny as hell. Once in a while a book comes along that makes you laugh so much you think you'll choke. This is that book."
The Observer http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/09/rhoda-janzen-mennonite-black-dress

"Rhoda Janzen does for the memoir what Bill Bryson did for travel-writing: she takes a well-loved genre, turns it inside out with an endless parade of comedy and through her cheerful good humour makes you fall in love - both with her and her subject.Janzen's blend of pragmatism and good temper, humour and saddened self-knowledge, make Mennonite in a Little Black Dress a joy, a comfort and a great, pleasurable read."
Sunday Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/8241414/Mennonite-in-a-Little-Black-Dress-By-Rhoda-Janzen-review.html

“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 Rhoda Janzen’s wonderfully intelligent and frank memoir, she goes home to the Mennonites.
... “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” is snort-up-your-coffee funny, breezy yet profound, and poetic without trying. 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.”
New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/books/review/Christensen-t.html?ref=bookreviews

I started reading this book earlier today thinking I would just get a feel for it seeing it had been so well received in the US and UK.
Some several hours later I have finished it and must say I found it both entertaining and compelling.
Rhoda Janzen had just turned 40 when her husband left her for a man he met online. In the same calamitous week she was hospitalised following a serious car accident. She can't afford her mortage repayments either so she packs up her bags and heads home into the arms of her welcoming Menonnite family. Quite a story. Also serves as a primer on the Menonnites whom I have previously tended to confuse with the Amish.

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