Monday, May 3, 2010

A good book that

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didn't live up to my expectations.

Not that it wasn't a good story...... It's well written, funny, sad, and whatever else you might expect from a memoir about a marriage falling apart. Rhoda Janzen grew up in an ultra conservative home. In her adult life she left that conservative lifestyle behind, became a college professor, and made a bad marriage that lead to an inevitable end.

While the news that her husband is leaving her for another man might have some shock value for us readers, it apparently wasn't such a shock for Rhoda. What is shocking is that she managed to stay married for 15 years. Rhoda speculates, and I would have to agree, that her ultra conservative upbringing is what made her stay and continually attempt to mold herself into the wife her husband demanded.

I think what I found disappointing was the Mennonite aspect. That is 100% my own fault, so I don't want it to spoil any one's choice to read and enjoy this book. But, I live in a community of Mennonites. The horse and buggy type of Mennonites. I wished I'd taken a camera with me yesterday when I was driving to church to show you just how many horses and buggies are out and about making their way to Sunday morning services at the local Mennonite church. What I was hoping for, in this book, was a little glimpse into the lives of the Mennonite homes I am surrounded by.

In Rhoda's Mennonite home, children were allowed 'supervised television'. Huh? That was my first hint that things were going to be quite different. Here, Mennonite homes don't have electricity. Also, Rhoda went to public school, wore pants, and her mother was a nurse. Here, Mennonite children go to one room school houses, wear dresses & bonnets, and are generally farmers or small business owners, not anything that would require a college education.

Rhoda does a good job of explaining that many people have preconceived ideas about Mennonites and their lifestyles. In the appendix she explains that lifestyles are varied based on congregational affiliations. So, the education I got was that my knowledge of the Mennonites was limited to the community around me, which is not a fair representation of ALL Mennonite lives.

Now, I'm off to a full morning of errands. Over the weekend I put the finishing touches on a quilt and sewed a purse. Look for pictures in the next few days. Also, Lee, over at Lake Stitcher, is going to resurrect the Stitching Bloggers Question of the month (instead of the week) so watch for that.

The Queen Bee

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your opinion of this book. It is on my "wish" list of books I might like to read. You might be interested in reading some of the books by Beverly Lewis. She writes about the Amish. Her books are classified as religious but they are not over the top with religion.