Synopses & Reviews
What does it mean to give church a try when you haven't really tried since you were twelve? At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family and her roots, though her future felt uncertain. But when she starts dating a churchgoer, this skeptic begins a surprising journey to faith and love.
Rhoda doesn't slide back into the dignified simplicity of the Mennonite church. Instead she finds herself hanging with the Pentecostals, who really know how to get down with sparkler pom-poms. Amid the hand waving and hallelujahs Rhoda finds a faith richly practical for life — just in time for some impressive lady problems, an unexpected romance, and a quirky new family.
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? is for people who have a problem with organized religion, but can't quite dismiss the notion of God, and for those who secretly sing hymns in their cars, but prefer a nice mimosa brunch to church. This is the story of what it means to find joy in love, comfort in prayer, and — incredibly, surprisingly — faith in a big-hearted God.
"Author of the improbable bestseller Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Janzen continues her quirky tales of finding faith in unlikely places in this dotty, squeaky-clean postdivorce sequel in which she describes life with a new boyfriend and the courage to battle breast cancer. Having fallen out of her conservative Mennonite community in California 'abgefallen' is how she is referred by her church folk now an English professor in Holland, Mich., Janzen meets and falls for a Pentecostal born-again 'Jesus-nail-necklace-wearing manly man' shortly before she is diagnosed with massive, inoperable breast cancer. With Mitch standing firmly by her, along with her resilient mom and sister, Janzen was determined to face her condition with optimism, and in startlingly breezy prose, considering the gravity of her condition, pokes fun at her professorial distractedness in contrast to Mitch's literal groundedness. She plunges into activities at his Pentecostal church, as wildly improvisational and 'kooky' as her Mennonite church had been sober and dignified, with enthusiasm, embracing their particular rituals of healing and even tithing. However, underneath her limpid facetiousness (one inspired simile compares Mitch's gloomy aged father's boredom to 'a stretch of wet cement that he protected with cones and tape') run serious concerns about her faith, spiritual growth, and the meaning of prayer and humility. 'I had unfinished business with God,' Janzen writes, sharing in this vibrant, charming narrative her own 'fruits of the spirit.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Rhoda Janzen is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and the poetry collection Babel's Stair. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA and teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.