Saturday, June 9

Book Review: Mennonite Don't Dance

Title: Mennonites Don't Dance

Author: Darcie Friesen Hossack

Pages: 201

Summary: This vibrant collection of short fictions explores how families work, how they are torn apart, and, in spite of differences and struggles, brought back together. Darcie Friesen Hossack's stories in Mennonites Don't Dance offer an honest, detailed look into the experiences of children - both young and adult - and their parents and grandparents, exploring generational ties, sins, penance and redemption.

Taking place primarily on the Canadian prairies, the families in these stories are confronted by the conflict between tradition and change - one story sees a daughter in- law's urban ideals push and pull against a mother's simple, rural ways, in another, a daughter raised in the Mennonite tradition tries to break free from her upbringing to escape to the city in search of a better life. Children learn the rules of farm life, and parents learn that their decisions, in spite of all good intentions, can carry dire consequences.

Ice House
Little Lamb
Mennonites Don't Dance
Dandelion Wine
Undone Hero
Year of the Grasshopper
Poor Nella Pea.

My Rating:  5.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I didn't like this book, very much, I didn't hate it either, but it was a collection of short stories that I couldn't get into.

 The writing was well done, the author does do a good job at telling a short story, and creating a complex plot, with some detailed issues, but the stories failed to reach me as the reader. The setting, experiences were far different than what I've experienced, it was the authors chance to show the reader the lives of the Mennonites, who they are etc., but I didn't get that from the stories. I also found that there were times I felt I was reading the same short story over and over again. They all had a lot of similar themes, so it felt 

In the end, not my cup of tea.

Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure. It was well written, but the stories didn't seem to reach me. I'm sure there are some out there who would love this book. And if you enjoy short fiction, it could be worth a try.

What to read next: Honestly, I'm not sure. I'd say look for more Canadian Short Fiction

1 comment:

  1. I have rarely read short stories in the past, but have recently started wedging them in between books when I am unsure what to read next. It is unfortunate that this collection was not that engaging. Thank you for your review.