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!