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The Resource Mennonite in a little black dress : a memoir of going home, Rhoda Janzen

Mennonite in a little black dress : a memoir of going home, Rhoda Janzen

Label
Mennonite in a little black dress : a memoir of going home
Title
Mennonite in a little black dress
Title remainder
a memoir of going home
Statement of responsibility
Rhoda Janzen
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A hilarious and moving memoir--in the spirit of Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron--about a woman who returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after a personal crisis
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ At first, the worst week of Janzen's life—she gets into a debilitating car wreck right after her husband leaves her for a guy he met on the Internet and saddles her with a mortgage she can't afford—seems to come out of nowhere, but the disaster's long buildup becomes clearer as she opens herself up. Her 15-year relationship with Nick had always been punctuated by manic outbursts and verbally abusive behavior, so recognizing her co-dependent role in their marriage becomes an important part of Janzen's recovery (even as she tweaks the 12 steps just a bit). The healing is further assisted by her decision to move back in with her Mennonite parents, prompting her to look at her childhood religion with fresh, twinkling eyes. (She provides an appendix for those unfamiliar with Mennonite culture, as well as a list of “shame-based foods” from hot potato salad to borscht.) Janzen is always ready to gently turn the humor back on herself, though, and women will immediately warm to the self-deprecating honesty with which she describes the efforts of friends and family to help her re-establish her emotional well-being. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed July 13, 2009) (Publishers Weekly, vol 256, issue 28, p45)
  • The author takes stock of the tribulations, tragedy and hilarity that has shaped her experiences thus far, reexamining religious roots, familial influences and personal choices.Janzen (English and Creating Writing/Hope Coll.; poems: Babel's Stair, 2006) excavates her past with the might of a backhoe and the finesse of an archaeologist's brush. Lines as jolting as "Nick had been drinking and offering to kill me and then himself," about her troubled ex-husband, are tempered by poignant moments of grace during her recovery from a debilitating accident: "Because I couldn't raise my right arm, students sprang up to take notes on the board." The author's relatives feature prominently throughout the narrative, her mother's quirky sensibilities bubbling over in merry nuggets of old-fashioned, home-spun wisdom. Punctuating overarching themes of blithe humor and Mennonite values are brief glimpses of raw despair, which Janzen eloquently, albeit briefly, explores. The recurring question of whether her abusive former spouse ever loved her is found in numerous contexts—solemn, analytical, even whimsical. After hesitantly re-entering the dating world, the author faced the revelation that she is woefully codependent by creating her own 12-step program, with directives such as "Step Two: Sit Down at the Computer with Wild Medusa Hair" and "Step Ten: Branch Out from Borscht." Within the humor, Janzen offers depictions of calamity and dark truths about regrettable relationships. Unfortunately, the closing primer on Mennonite history falls flat.A buoyant, somewhat mordant ramble through triumphs, upheavals and utter normalcy. (Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2009)
Biography type
autobiography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
326825
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Janzen, Rhoda
Dewey number
  • 811/.6
  • B
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3610.A59
LC item number
Z75 2009
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Janzen, Rhoda
  • Poets, American
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a memoir of going home
Label
Mennonite in a little black dress : a memoir of going home, Rhoda Janzen
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
241 p.
Isbn
9780805089257
Lccn
2009003146
System control number
(OCoLC)301705803
Label
Mennonite in a little black dress : a memoir of going home, Rhoda Janzen
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
241 p.
Isbn
9780805089257
Lccn
2009003146
System control number
(OCoLC)301705803

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797
    • Senoia BranchBorrow it
      148 Pylant Street, Senoia, GA, 30276, US
      33.297709 -84.561283

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