Saturday, August 03, 2013
Nennonite in a Little Black Dress
The author reminisces about her life after her husband left her and she was injured in an auto accident. Feeling somewhat at loose ends and slowly recovering from her injuries, Janzen went to stay with her parents. Her folks were traditional Mennonites, not to be confused with the Amish and their rejection of modern conveniences. Mennonites use electricity, drive vehicles, have telephones, computers, dishwashers, etc. But they are conservative and early in her life, Janzen decided it was not for her. She chose a different path, a more worldly path, one that included marrying a homosexual, abusive man who eventually left her high and dry and in financial difficulties.
This book just kind of meanders along, revealing snippets of the Mennonite way of life. It is mostly entertaining and often amusing. The only real drawback is the author's extensive vocabulary that too often went over my head. For example: "Sure, from a ratiocinative point of view, the invention of angels on the wall seems an unlikely way to achieve virtue in praxis." I have no idea what this means and my spell checker didn't know either ratiocinative or praxis. Another example: "...my brothers don't follow events in the belletristic world..." Belletristic? Really? I looked it up ... which didn't help because I didn't understand the definition either.
So other than the annoying difficult vocabulary, I pretty much enjoyed her story.
For a better review see: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/books/review/Christensen-t.html?_r=0