Mennonite in a Little Black DressAuthor: Rhoda Janzen
ISBN: ISBN-13 9780857890405
Featured in the February, 2011 magazine
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1. Rhoda’s mother is, as Rhoda puts it, “as buoyant as a lark on a summer’s morn.” Rhoda claims to be not as upbeat as her mother, but do you think that in some ways, she is? Given the seriousness of some of the issues explored in the memoir, did the humorous voice surprise you?
2. Rhoda’s parents are deeply religious. What are some of the more notable ways their faith manifests itself? What qualities do they possess that you admire? Were you surprised by anything you learned about the Mennonite community?
3. Rhoda freely discusses the problems in her marriage, and how poorly her husband sometimes treated her. Looking back on it, however, she thinks that she probably still would have married him regardless. She asks, “Is it ever really a waste of time to love someone, truly and deeply, with everything you have?” What do you think?
4. Toward the end of the book, Rhoda remarks that she “suddenly felt destiny as a mighty and perplexing force, an inexorable current that sweeps us off into new channels.” Do you believe in destiny? Can you really ever escape your roots or change your beliefs?