Can I just say, right off the start, I love my book club. I really, really love my book club, in fact, and I honour each woman who makes that circle so incredibly beautiful. I wish I was more like each of you in so many ways.

So when I say I was shocked (I might be exaggerating my emotional response a tiny bit, but not much) to find out my book club sisters disliked my book recommendation, well, I had to rethink my place in the universe, or something. <smileyface>

And because I wasn’t able to attend the book club meeting where said book was being discussed, I have unresolved and lingering feelings which must be expressed or I will die, or something. <smileyface>

I adored the book Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home, by Rhoda Janzen. I laughed out loud, in a public place, while reading it. A woman stopped and asked me what I was reading and wrote down the title so she could read it, too. Another stranger sat right down for a little chat when she saw the book that was making me smile.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is a memoir, the story of a forty-ish woman who, after the breakup of her marriage and a disabling accident, returns home to recover. It’s a story of healing, in every sense of the word, as she spends time with family and memories and the conservative religious community of her childhood.

Some have said Janzen’s story is disrespectful and crude. I didn’t find it so. Besides being hilarious, I found Janzen’s memoir touching and beautiful. Honestly, it was the honesty that made this book shine. I appreciated her truthful retelling of remembered childhood, while taking responsibility for all her adult decisions, and I thought her literary treatment of the characters in her story was generally hilariously respectful.

The thing is, truthful truth is always a little dirty.

Thankfully, my place in the universe was restored when my sister Kathy, also reading the book on my recommendation, texted me.


Ah. Sisters. We get each other.

If you don’t mind a little swearing and some truthful talk, I think you’ll love this book. On my Annie scale, it’s much more Anne Lamott than Ann Voskamp, but I’m good with that. Sometimes, I need to laugh instead of cry.