In Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (Holt, Oct.), Job has nothing on Rhoda Janzen, whose memoir we enter at midlife. She's recently endured a hysterectomy that left her with a punctured bladder; her bipolar husband of 15 years makes a swell nurse, but once she's mended, he's off with “a guy named Bob.” Then things get worse. On a snowy drive home to her now unaffordable lake home, a teen drunk driver crashes into her, leaving her broken and bruised. “Under circumstances like these, what was a forty-three-year-old gal to do? I'll tell you what I did. I went home to the Mennonites.” In consistently deadpan style, Janzen reports on the anachronistic culture in which she was raised and presents hilarious parental portraits. Dad's many charms include a maddening passivity and a penchant for public prayer at Denny's. But it was mom's lark-in-springtime personality that had me in hysterics. Peppered with Menno recipes, Janzen's memoir is a tasty treat.