Monday, May 17, 2010

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

I picked up Mennonite in a Little Black Dress at the same time as Acedia and me and Shop Class as Soulcraft because the first page I read had me laughing out loud in the bookstore.

It's a story about revisiting in weakness the culture you fled from and being healed by the experience. The description on the back cover is pretty good:

"Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her seriously injured.  Neding a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice."

Despite the universality of the themes of loss, aging, family, love and faith I'm not certain that it translates well across cultures. I was reading this while on the plane, sitting by a Frenchman, an aspiring romance novelist in his spare time who was reading something Serious and Important that he reads every 10 years. (I can't remember the title, only his tones about it.) He couldn't help but notice me laughing so much while reading this book so he asked me, "Why is that so funny?" I found it hard to explain. But that didn't stop me from laughing for several more hours on the plane.

If you are an adventuresome cook, there are also traditional Mennonite recipes in the back for things like Platz and Borscht.  Enjoy!

2 comments:

Rick, Pam and JC said...

I can just imagine you on the plane laughing and the dumb look of the frenchman besides you. :-)

Gerardine Baugh said...

I have to find that book. Must have made you laugh harder when the Frenchman didn't know what you were laughing at.
Gerardine