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Download Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home Audiobook, by Rhoda Janzen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18,104 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rhoda Janzen Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9781598879087
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Her husband left her. She's recovering from a car crash. She hurts. So she goes home <#150> to the Mennonite family she left behind. With open arms and offbeat advice, this sheltered community helps her come to terms with her failed marriage and the choi Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rhoda’s life may not sound amusing at first: She’s a poet/professor whose husband just left her for Bob, whom he met on Gay.com. But what happens after she heads home to her Mennonite parents is beyond funny. Her wry, affectionate depictions of her frugal dad, sweet but slightly scatological mom, and a youth in which jeans and dancing were off limits make for an honest and entertaining memoir.”

    Family Circle

  • “Readers will find themselves laughing out loud at Janzen’s wry commentary…The playful humor is balanced, however, with genuine thoughtfulness, especially as Janzen reconnects with childhood companions and reflects on how different her own life might have been, had she chosen to remain in the Mennonite community instead of embracing an intellectual life. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress will resonate with any reader who has ever thought about how such choices shape our futures, or with anyone who has struggled to recapture faith—in God, in other people, or in oneself.”

    BookPage

  • “Hysterical…In the tradition of David Sedaris, it’s [Janzen’s] family who is the source of the book’s biggest laughs, and its heart.”

    Daily Beast

  • “A spirited, fascinating memoir…Janzen’s story reminds us what a beautiful gift our past can be.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Compelling…Janzen explores her past and her present with honesty and self-deprecation and the result is both hilarious and touching…[A] lively chronicle of the patience and strong sense of humor one needs to go home again.”

    Booklist

  • “This book is not just beautiful and intelligent, but also painfully—even wincingly—funny. 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. I have a list already of about fourteen friends who need to read this book. I will insist that they read it. Because simply put, this the most delightful memoir I’ve read in ages.”

    Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

  • “This soulful, affecting first memoir…will enchant anyone who has ever gone back home after suffering a setback.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Janzen looks at her childhood religion with fresh, twinkling eyes…Janzen is always ready to gently turn the humor back on herself, though, and women will immediately warm to the self-deprecating honesty with which she describes the efforts of friends and family to help her re-establish her emotional well-being.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is a hilarious collection of musings on Janzen’s childhood, marriage, and eccentric family…Janzen mines Mennonite culture for comic effect, but she does so with love.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Hilarious and touching.”

    People (starred review)

  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is snort-up-your-coffee funny, breezy yet profound, and poetic without trying.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Selected for the November 2009 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 1/22/2014

    " laugh out loud funny in parts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 1/22/2014

    " If you have a background in the Mennonite community this book is HILARIOUS!!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 1/17/2014

    " Having read several Amish books, I decided to read this. Rhoda Janzen moves back in with her Mennonite parents after an accident and a divorce. Though Rhoda has rejected the Mennonite faith, her parents welcome her home. Ms. Janzen gives us her views about her divorce and being raised a Mennonite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 RaiLynn | 1/2/2014

    " I didn't really know what to expect when I picked this book up at a used book sale, but the author is really funny and she has some pretty interesting insights. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodie | 12/19/2013

    " This book rocked! I loved her sense of humor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 12/16/2013

    " Enjoyed this one, but felt the ending left me hanging. Wondered what she did to resolve some of the issues she was still faced with. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Natasha | 12/15/2013

    " This book is terrible!! Can barely get through reading it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie L | 12/11/2013

    " at times a little on the slow read side of books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin Clayton | 12/6/2013

    " It's really not at all about Mennonnites as it is about Ms. Janzen's journey into middle age. Easy read, amusing but no deep insights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melinda | 11/26/2013

    " A light read...witty, and at times "lol" hilarious. Interesting for a memoir. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana Dillon | 11/25/2013

    " Good funny read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kat | 11/17/2013

    " Hilariously funny at the beginning. Then it kind of dwindled and the last third kind of dragged on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helena | 11/15/2013

    " Hilarious. One of those books I couldn't wait to get to at the end of the day. Read it in about 3 days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Franca | 8/8/2013

    " I loved this book. I loved the honesty in which she wrote about her divorce and her family. No self-pity party. Funny and interesting. It was a fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie B | 7/25/2013

    " Unexpectedly funny - think David Sedaris as an English professor with a religious family. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Torrie | 7/21/2013

    " This had entertaining parts, but mostly it was disappointing. I thought it was supposed to be more about her marriage. Many of the stories seemed very random and misplaced. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 5/5/2013

    " More like a 3.5 but that rating isn't available. The first part was extremely funny but then the stories became less interesting. I persevered and found the last part of the book much more interesting. Not a "must read" but definitely worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn Gregory | 2/25/2013

    " Wonderful memoir "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elena | 11/8/2012

    " Funny, depressing and I loved the Russian/Ukranian references. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison Jones | 8/20/2012

    " Laugh out loud fun and some thought-provoking ideas. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Harmony | 8/2/2012

    " This book really annoyed me- it wAs funny for the first five pages and then I thought it was so boring. Ok your parents are religious and German and cheap who cares?!?? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ann Allison | 6/23/2012

    " This book was super ssssslllllooowww and I just couldn't get into it. I finished it b/c I'd already paid/downloaded it...wish I could get my money back :/ "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jo Anne | 12/1/2011

    " Ok book, but I learned more about Mennonites by googling them then I did reading this book. Sort of a sneaky way to sell a memoir. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Welch | 11/22/2011

    " Read this book twice it's so good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tope2u | 8/8/2011

    " The contrast of a simple life of faith with that of the complex egocentric world of academia is painted in a humorous and exceptionally erudite manner. A charming memoir by a woman equally adept in both worlds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 8/5/2011

    " As a mennonite, I probably enjoyed this a little more than the average person. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane | 5/21/2011

    " Not as depressing as a lot of memoirs. Lots of interesting info about Mennonites. Just as many loose ends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Relebe2001 | 5/19/2011

    " I laughed so hard I cried at this book. I really loved her voice. It felt really conversational. Looking forward to reading more from this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/17/2011

    " When you want to escape into different world, laugh out loud, and truly explore differences in our world, read this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexandria | 5/16/2011

    " Pretty funny stuff! It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it was a good read anyways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessi | 5/15/2011

    " A wonderful, meandering book about a woman whose husband left her and then was in a horrible car accident in the space of a week. This book covers her familial relationships (with her very Mennonite family) as well as her own personal growth. Fun, quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Malina | 5/12/2011

    " Kind of disappointed with the end. It just ended. Amusing stories about her childhood and life. Maybe that's the style of memoir? But no resolution to any of it. A ramble thru her memories. I know more about mennonites now I guess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 5/12/2011

    " An entertaining book, this really gave me a good background on Mennonite culture from the standpoint of a woman raised in it but no longer living in it. The story is told with humor and vigor, and it was a fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 5/10/2011

    " Much wittier than I anticipated. Strong voice. Learned a bit about Mennonites too :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 5/10/2011

    " Altough parts of this book were amusing, I did not feel that this memoir had much to offer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 5/9/2011

    " I liked it. She reminds my of Chelsea Handler, but smarter and with a stronger moral fiber. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JoBeth | 5/9/2011

    " I enjoyed the fresh voice and cultural perspective a great deal in the beginning, but the book wore thin. How much mileage can you get out of "my husband left me for a guy named Bob he met on gay.com"? It was funny the first few times. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lydia | 5/8/2011

    " didn't even finish it. "

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About the Author
Author Rhoda Janzen

Rhonda Janzen holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of California Poet Laureate in 1994 and 1997. She is the author of Babel’s Stair, a collection of poems, and her poems have also appeared in Poetry, the Yale Review, the Gettysburg Review, and the Southern Review. She teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

About the Narrator

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards and won ten Earphones Awards. Her recordings for Blackstone include Skinny Bastard, The Art of Social War, and The Cheater.