Customer Reviews


52 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (20)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book to read and then want to tell everyone about
Not my usual thing but I'm a typical female reader who reads anything my Mum says is amazing- and she's always right!

Ten times better than Eat, Pray, Love here is the woman you would go to in times of need! Janzen is funny, thoughtful, optimistic, her story moves in ways you wouldn't expect with the frankness and laughter of a good friend. She's brave too, and...
Published on 10 Jan 2011 by Vanity Fair

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mennonite Marmite
Forty-something American/Canadian Rhoda Janzen has had a terrible time of it. Her wonderful, gorgeous husband has left her for for a guy called Bob who he met on Gay.com and her troubles multiply as, in the same week, she is hospitalized following a serious road accident. Incapacitated, she decides to return to the bosom of her Mennonite family to lick her wounds...
Published on 13 Mar 2011 by Lovely Treez


Most Helpful First | Newest First

3.0 out of 5 stars Mennonite, 23 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was bought as a gift for someone else but may be I will order another one for myself as the write up for this book was good.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and informative, 19 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Rhoda Janzen finds herself in an unenviable position - her husband has left her (for a man!) and she's had a car accident which left her injured. What's a girl to do? Go back home to mum, of course. However, her parents are Mennonites, a sect which she left some years before, and which disapproves of divorce, education for women, and lots of other things. Rhoda reviews her marriage and its breakdown, which anyone in a similar position would empathise with. She also reviews growing up as a Mennonite and remembers some of the embarrassments she felt as an adolescent who was 'different' but is warmly welcomed back to the fold and she renews old friendships. She writes in an amusing way about her history and gives interesting information about the sect. A word of warning - some of the Americanisms are not easy to understand (two nations divided by a common language!) and there are a number of German words which I didn't understand - you may! - but overall they don't detract from enjoyment. My book group was divided - nobody strongly disliked it, but three or four of us (out of 15) really loved it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Intersting perspective, delivered with wry humor, 20 July 2013
By 
This review is from: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Kindle Edition)
My family are from a region where Amish folks are commonly met and many of the traditions, dishes and bits of culture are familiar to me but I'd never really go to know any 'modern' Mennonites and was curious. What I found was more of a personal memoir that touches on living with someone with bipolar, midlife review of ones life, dealing with illness and generally looking back to the roots of ones life to deal with adversity. Even if the roots were long ago abandoned and even disparaged, they can be a source of wisdom and comfort in difficult times. As a middle-aged woman I can relate to that message and learnt some interesting tidbits about another cultural group. Jantzen writes with a wry, self-deprecating humor and erudite vocabulary that assumes a level of brightness and education in the reader which I appreciated but others might find a bit dry or slow going. I look forward to more from the author, her voice is unique.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars something & nothing, 10 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Kindle Edition)
I usually persevere with books but could not with this. The story is boring with little definite plot or exciting characters. I did not finish and deleted from my kindle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 8 Feb 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great holiday read. Be prepared not to anything else for a day or so while you read it. Hilarious and real.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars very funny, 10 Sep 2012
By 
Cloggie Downunder (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is a memoir by Rhoda Janzen. Daughter of the head of the Mennonite church in North America (the Mennonite equivalent of the Pope), Janzen rejected her family's faith at eighteen to go to college and teach. At forty-four, after a turbulent marriage that ended with her husband leaving her for a man he met on Gay.com, and having survived a serious car accident, Rhoda goes home to her parents' welcoming arms and quirky lifestyle. She finds her return therapeutic and soothing. Janzen manages to fill this memoir with hilarious anecdotes whilst painting her family as loving and supportive. It is gratifying to learn that the phenomenon of Catholic guilt is not the exclusive domain of victims of the Roman Catholic Church. Very funny.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Funny & realistic, 15 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Kindle Edition)
The author grew up in a Mennonite family & returns for a visit after the breakdown of her marriage. She tells of her trials in a very amusing way & brings to life her family ,friends & her upbringing. She realises that they still have a lot to offer & that she never really grew away. Some moments had me laughing out loud, & others seemed much more serious. A great combination but a star lost because the ending was so abrupt that the book seemed unfinished. I would love to know if she stayed or not ,but well worth reading all the same.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, 3 Aug 2011
This review is from: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Kindle Edition)
I'll start by saying that I am a guy and this may not be seen as typically being a guy's book. However it is a real rib-tickler; very entertaining and instructive for someone who is not part of that Mennonite culture. Also being non American/Canadian and non female it is further enlightening and a joy to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, warmhearted memoir, 28 July 2011
By 
KalteStern (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I suspect I'm not alone these days in associating mention of fundamentalist American Christians with accounts of sexual exploitation, emotional repression, intolerance and prejudice; and therefore the tendency is to assume that anything written by a woman brought up in one these communities is going to be yet another in a long line for misery memoirs - which would have been very much not my cup of tea. But refreshingly this particular author, although she had in effect walked away from her religious upbringing as a permanent lifestyle choice as an adult, returns to the bosom of her family to find both herself and them unscathed by the experience. Her resulting account, which includes both her own memories of her childhood and her more modern adult perspective on her parents and siblings and the rest of the Mennonite community in which they live is both amusing and affectionate, and a delightful read.

To a British reader, some aspects of the mentality of female Americans of a certain age seem to hold true almost regardless of the technicalities of their religion; more than once, bizarrely, I was reminded of elements of Erica Jong's faux memoir 'Fear of Flying', because although she was an urban, Jewish, New Yorker, and the author is from a Midwestern, rural, Protestant derived sect, their shared history of an academic career seems to have ironed out the differences somewhere along the way. And although in some ways the author could have a legitimate complaint about some of the knocks that life has thrown at her, she is refreshingly lacking in self pity and self absorption, which certainly suggests that some aspects of her upbringing turned out right.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Mennonite, 12 May 2011
By 
J. Cane (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I found it informative on the Mennonites but was disappointed in the writing as I was expecting more humour. Maybe I do not appreciate the American humour.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews