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Mennonite Daughter Reviews
In Mennonite Daughter – The Story of a Plain Girl, Marian Beaman invites you into a world gone by with a living tribute to her Mennonite family. We learn how we may cling to our roots while needing the find our own path, and how our growth can include respect for the past. You will be charmed by her depiction of a simple, plain life in a rural community in the fifties, and her gentle shift into modern times.
– Linda Joy Myers, Founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, author of Don’t Call Me Mother, and Song of the Plains.
Marian Beaman offers a heartfelt memoir of her journey to find her authentic self- a self that rises above the abuse she suffered at her fathers hand a self that’s true to her Mennonite values, a self that lets her revel in red shoes. Readers will cheer her on and delight in her success.
– Carol Bodensteiner, author of Growing Up Country, Memoirs of an Iowa Farm Girl.
I love this book, with its marvelous description, which opens significant windows into 20th century Mennonite life. This book is a fine heirloom treasure for discovering the heartbeat of special folks in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania family history. Marian’s memoir deserves an A+ endorsement. “Addictive!”
– Joanne Hess Siegrist, historian, teacher, tour guide; author, Mennonite Women of Lancaster County: A Story in Photographs from 1855-1935
My Checkered Life Reviews
“MY CHECKERED LIFE: A MARRIAGE MEMOIR is honest, big-hearted, nonjudgmental, humorous, and wise. Not a book of easy answers, Beaman doesn’t gloss over hard truths. Instead, she shares personal examples acknowledging that marriage, like a rollercoaster ride, has ups and downs that can plummet us from calm to chaos, despair to joy, and everything in between. I laughed, and I cried, and you will, too.”
– Laurie Buchanan, PhD., author Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth
Hilarious in places and real-to-life throughout, My Checkered Life, Marian Beaman’s sequel to her memoir, Mennonite Daughter, gives an insider look at what makes her fifty-five-year marriage tick. Growing up as a plain Mennonite girl, English teacher from the East marries off-beat pioneer-type from the West and sparks fly, sometimes igniting arguments; other times finding harmony. Discover how their early commitment is tested but sustained by mutual love and trust.
– Melodie Miller Davis, author of Memoir of an Unimagined Career and nine other books. She is a newspaper columnist and blogs at findingharmony.com
Like a finely-made quilt, this memoir snatches the leftovers and used materials of life and transforms them into a dazzling heirloom. Marian Beaman, and her husband Cliff, appear on these pages as young lovers, parents, artists, teachers, and elders. Would that all marriages were as full of vigor, spice, humor, faith, and love as this one is. Those of us who are faithful readers of Marian’s blog and her first memoir Mennonite Daughter, will love this book because we already know and love the main characters. However, we are like new readers, because the pattern of the quilt, and Cliff’s fine contributions, have made the stories new.
– Shirley Showalter, Co-author with Marilyn McEntyre, THE MINDFUL GRANDPARENT and author, BLUSH
This memoir evoked both laughter and tears. It caused me to evaluate my own relationships as I experienced the peaks and valleys of life with Marian and Cliff. Although the author and her husband come from different backgrounds, they have one thing in common: they made the decision to be faithful to each other. Because of this, they are able to love and forgive, to work together in spite of their imperfections.
– Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder, PhD; Freelance Writer, Translator, Tutor, (ESL, German, English)
The first time I read My Checkered Life, I savored it slowly, but not too slowly, because the pages turned quickly as the stories flowed with ease. Not many people – wives or husbands – are brave enough to chronicle their marriage, including the ups and downs, the twisty turns of staying “in love” with a person through all of life’s thick and thins.
The second time I read the book, I shared quotes and snippets with my husband, and we smiled knowingly. Marian Beaman does a spectacular job of detailing her move from innocent Mennonite young woman who yearns to be “fancy,” to a woman in her mid-20s who falls for a man so different from her in many ways. And then, we follow their marriage from storybook wedding to the reality of living on a shoestring and traveling in a tiny van with tiny children and learning how to pay attention to their own needs, as well as to each other’s. A beautiful testament (with heartfelt advice) on how to create and sustain a long-time, happy marriage.
– Pamela S. Wight, author of Flashes of Life, blogger and teacher.
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