I’m playing catch-up on my reviews.
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
Think Nora-Ephron-goes-Mennonite and that about sums up the style of Rhoda Janzen’s memoir.
“It’s funny how when your husband leaves you for a guy named Bob, you begin to revisit memories from the summer before, when hindsight sheds new light on your husband’s role during the highs and lows of your convalescence. What you once thought of as evidence of your husband’s tenderness you begin to imagine as guilt for dating guys with big wangs.”
This book was laugh-out-loud funny and extremely interesting. Through her anecdotes, Janzen reveals lots about her parents and her Mennonite upbringing.
Full marks for the hilarious section on accessorizing a catheter; the detailed descriptions of Mennonite culinary traditions; and the family’s helpful dating advice. A mark off for the small bit of spiritual navel-gazing Janzen indulges in toward the end.
‘”If you’ve got it, flaunt it!”Lola urged. And so it was that I sallied forth into public carrying my pee bag in an aqua patent tote, shopping with urinous enthusiasm.’
“…there’s a place in Mennonite hearts for unlovable foods: beets, braised cabbage, lard.”
Despite her joking around, there is a deeper message in Janzen’s story. I will certainly be sharing this truth with my own kids –
“In my opinion, sexiness comes down to three things: chemistry, sense of humor, and treatment of waitstaff at restaurants.”
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
What I did like – the bits about the meaning of flowers. I thought that was beautifully done.
What I didn’t like – some of the plot lines felt a bit too neatly resolved, a bit too ‘happily ever-after’. I wasn’t convinced by the people around Victoria (the main character) – they were incredibly forgiving of her when really, they owed her nothing. I’d like to think that people on the whole are forgiving and generous by nature, but… but…
I don’t read as much chick-lit (although this is probably strictly classed as the more ridiculous ‘women’s fiction’) as I once did, mainly because I find it a bit too predictable – perhaps I’ve exhausted my quota?
I’m Starved for You by Margaret Atwood
I’m Starved for You is a novella designed to be read in one sitting. My day doesn’t usually allow for large chunks of reading time but I found myself carving out spare minutes so that I could keep reading this book. I don’t read a lot of speculative fiction so perhaps I’m not the best judge of the genre but I know a good story – this is a ripper. And of course, Margaret is a master.
I’m Starved for You is the first in the four-part Positron series. I almost cried when I finished because 1) cliffhanger and 2) book-buying-ban. And then, after scouting around miserably on Goodreads for hints about what happens next, I realised that Margaret had rewritten the four parts into her 2015 release, The Heart Goes Last. HOORAY! And I have it in my TBR stack. HOORAY!