Overdue Book Review #2: Mennonite Daughter By Marian Longenecker Beaman

Overdue Book Review #2: Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl by Marian Longenecker Beaman

Readers of my blog will recognize the name Marian Beaman from the comments. She comments on nearly every post I write, and she was one of my first followers. Full disclosure—we have met in person back in the before time when people actually did meet in person.

Visiting a friend in Chincoteague

She was working on her memoir at that time. I think I remember a discussion about the red shoes then. You can see the shoes in the delightful cover photo. Indeed, the book is beautiful, and it is filled with lovely family photos, as well as illustrations created by Marian’s husband, Cliff Beaman.

Mennonite Daughter is a memoir that covers the early years of Marian’s life up to her marriage to Cliff. It covers the conflict she had with living within the restrictions of her Mennonite life, while also loving many aspects of it.

“Even after the strict dress code fell away, the strong pillars of faith and family have defined my core values. . .In my heart, I will always be a Mennonite.”

The book explores her troubled relationship with her father–who never told her he loved her–as well as the connections she had to her “two mothers,” both named Ruth. One was her biological mother, a farm wife and mother; the other was her Aunt Ruth, who remained single. Aunt Ruth was a Marian’s mentor and her literal teacher at the two-room schoolhouse that Marian attended.

Mennonite Daughter is set mainly in Lancaster County, PA, from about 1940 to the 1960s. Readers learn about farming, as well as what it meant to be a young Mennonite woman during that time. This included the proper plain clothing, as well as living according to the tenets of faith. To wear jewelry, make-up, and certainly red shoes, was part of the “fancy” world. We meet Marian’s beloved grandmother, her sisters and brother, and her relatives. We see Marian chafing under restrictions, and we feel for her as she waits in hope for her parents to acknowledge her hard work in high school after she graduated with honors. The book also includes maps, notes, and recipes.

This memoir is heartfelt. It is a book based on love—of family, of community, of learning, and of faith.

This book is cat-approved, too!

Marian’s Blog, Plain and Fancy Girl: https://marianbeaman.com/blog/
Amazon Link to Mennonite Daughter: https://www.amazon.com/Mennonite-Daughter-Story-Plain-Girl/dp/1733585206/

29 thoughts on “Overdue Book Review #2: Mennonite Daughter By Marian Longenecker Beaman

  1. Oooh, I have to check this out! Very nice write-up about the book, I enjoyed it very much and it intrigues me enough to check it out thoroughly. 😀 I love a good, heartfelt and honest book, no matter if I’m the slowest reader on the planet.

  2. Well, Merril, a HUGE thank you for the shout-out here. I’m both thrilled and abashed. Abashed that I am commenting only now, having spent the day teasing out new nuggets in a diary of Aunt Ruthie, one of my principal memoir characters. Again, you are wonderful to review my book TWICE, a lovely gesture. And even before that, you served as a beta reader. ((( )))

    Happy New Year to YOU too. And Doug, of course!

    • Thank you and you’re welcome, Marian. I’m pleased you’re pleased. 😀. I don’t think I’ve really done a review of your book before.
      Happy New Year to you and Cliff! I hope it’s a healthy and happy year for us all!

  3. I’m intrigued by your review, Merril, and I look forward to reading it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Happy New Year!

  4. Congratulations Marian! The book sounds interesting.
    How wonderful that you and Merril met in before time. I hope we get before times, again.
    Best!!!!

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