Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen (Book Review)

Perhaps the subtitle (A Memoir of Going Home) is what threw me a curve when I first put this memoir on my "to read" list.

You see if the title, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, precedes a hint at this Mennonite going home the reader may expect some facts about the Mennonite faith, what life was like growing up a Mennonite, stories of buggy rides (or am I confusing them with the Amish?).

But that is not what Rhoda Janzen has written.  Janzen, who is not only a writer but also a poet, teaches English and Creative Writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.  Using her expertise as a writing professional, Janzen weaves her story with nostalgia, humor, some facts about her family's faith, talk about aging, and tops it off with a look at parents who have accepted the woman Janzen grew up to be.

I found Janzen's book so engaging that at times I found myself chuckling out loud or uttering an affirmation of my agreement about "going home."  A journey toward the home of your childhood as a 40-year old divorcee whose husband left her for a gay man he found on Craigslist isn't paved with thoughts of warmth and welcome.

Yet Janzen's deadpan, witty and wry humor makes it a journey her reader enjoys.  My recommendation is:  If you haven't read it, do!