I first came across Rhoda Janzen when I read her exceptional book Mennonite in a Little Black Dress while on a business trip to New Zealand last October. I was going through a bit of a tough personal time and planning a quiet return to Canada, and a memoir of going home seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? picks up where Mennonite in a Little Black Dress leaves off. Janzen is in a new relationship with a churchgoer and decides to give church a try – not with the Mennonites of her childhood, but with the jazzy, sparkly Pentecostals (where were these guys when I was a kid? Janzen says they have pompoms, which would have made church much more fun). And when she gets a surprise cancer diagnosis, her search for faith and family becomes even more important.
The Amazon blurb describes it like this: “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.” That sort of sounds like me, and I loved reading about Janzen’s exploration (and redefinition) of love, faith and family.
It’s a light, introspective read about some fairly heavy stuff, and I’d recommend this excellent little memoir to anyone who has ever wondered if there couldn’t be more than one way to believe in something bigger. I genuinely enjoyed it even more than the first book. Check out this little blurb here.