Oh my goodness. I laughed sooo hard while reading this book. I was actually guffawing. I really can't say it better than Elizabeth Gilbert does on the back cover of the book: "It is rare that I literally laugh out loud while I'm reading, but Rhoda Janzen's voice—singular, deadpan, sharp-witted, and honest—slayed me, with audible results."
Rhoda Janzen was raised in a Mennonite community but strayed far, far from her roots when she went to college. The book begins the year she turns 43, when a series of unfortunate events pushes Janzen back to the arms of her parents: she has a hysterectomy, her husband leaves her for a man he meets on gay.com, and she is badly injured in a car accident. She goes home to recover and in doing so, uncovers a whole barrel of truths about love, family, faith, and community.
The book isn't really so much about the Mennonite faith. Jantzen's tidbits on growing up Mennonite are hilarious, such as her list of the "top five Shame-Based Foods for Mennonite youth lunches." The memoir is really about coming to terms with your family with all its quirks, finding safety, and reconciling who you once were with who you are now.
Janzen is hilarious, but she is also a poet. Her writing is beautiful and terribly witty. In some ways she reminds me of Celia Rivenbark, author of Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank (clidk for my review) and other gems. But Janzen has more serious moments than Rivenbark. She is truly reflective and lyrical in her writing, which makes her dry humor even better.
I love this book and highly recommend it. I predict it will make my Top 10 list this year.
Mrs. O'Dell Reads
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