A Review of Rhoda Janzen’s “Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?”


“The stories we surround ourselves with can either move us forward or hold us back… We erase not our history, but its power to harm us…Faith is the hope that our work will have meaning, that someday our troubled rooms will be transformed.”  page 141

Rhoda Janzen picks up her story of departure from and return to her Mennonite roots in Mennonite in a Black Dress,  a number one New York Times bestseller with a new work, Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? (To be published by Grand Central Publishing on October 1, 2012)

In Does this Church Janzen tells the rest of her story that unfolds in her earlier work:  that having lost her husband to a boyfriend from a gay website and having sustained serious injuries in a car accident she returns to her parents home and comes face to face with her Mennonite roots and the larger issue of faith.

Without giving away details Janzen, with her delightful humor, wit, and sarcasm, that disappears as she comes to grips with the issue of faith and all the barriers to faith she had erected over the years , puts her life back together as she meets a man who is the opposite of so much she believes in, a step-son and a father-in-law that she inhabits a house with, and many of  the most common political hot buttons pushed along the way.

And while it was Janzen’s first book that interested me in this book, I recommend getting this book because of the simply honest way that Janzen describes her journey into a faith that is her own faith and not her childhood faith nor her parents faith. Her story and journey is the story and journey of many adults today.

And though many readers many not agree with the path than Janzen has taken, I do believe they will recognize that adulthood requires us to make adult decisions and sometimes those decisions take a while to fully make – whether it is matters related to faith or becoming one’s own person- and re-make as well.

I rate this book a “great” read.

NOTE: The review copy of this book was a Net Galley copy via Net Galley from the publisher. A positive review was not required.

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