Review: Does This Church Make Me Look Fat by Rhoda Janzen

by Shannan on November 8, 2012

I am a reader. I’ve always been a reader. I learned to read around age three, according to my mother. She told a story of being on the way to Florida (oh look, another Disney reference) and suddenly I started reading the billboards and road signs. For months before this, she’d thought that I had memorized my favorite books from her reading them to me, but apparently I was actually reading them.

As I got a little older, I found escape in the adventures of Laura Ingalls, Trixie Belden and The Babysitters Club. To me, the characters in books were friends. I felt as if I knew them and I could see just how their personalities could fit into my own life. When a series ended or I couldn’t get my hands on the next book, I would just start over at the beginning to keep the feeling of having my “friends” in my life.

This love of reading and connecting to characters in books has remained as an adult. Though my tastes have matured somewhat, I still connect with the characters in a book and love nothing more than to close the cover (or shut down the Kindle app) wanting to know what happens to my friend next.

I recently was offered the opportunity to review Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen. A friend told me I just HAD to read it, as she had read Ms. Janzen’s earlier book Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home and had loved it.

Now I’m one for starting at the beginning, but life has been busy and my original intention of reading the earlier book kept getting pushed back until I finally caved and just started reading the newer one. My friend was right. I was pulled into Ms. Janzen’s story immediately and true to form, walked away wanting more from her. Rhoda is now a friend and I want to hear more tales from her life.

In this book, the author shares about her struggle with breast cancer, her romantic relationship with a man she’d just begun dating a few months prior to diagnosis and her evolving faith and relationship with God. While each facet of her story was enjoyable and her voice is laugh-out-loud funny, I connected most with her tales of finding faith within a Pentecostal church. Having spent time in a Pentecostal church as a child, I can only begin to imagine how jarring that experience was at first, coming from a Mennonite background.

If you enjoy an author with an irreverent and humorous voice, I highly recommend this book. It addresses some of the more serious and somber points of life in a way without actually being serious and somber. I closed the book having been given some wonderful reminders of what faith truly means, while having a few good belly laughs along the way and walked away with a newfound friend.

 Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review, but opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post.

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