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Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl

“What if the Mennonite life I chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if my two Lancaster County homes were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Follow Marian in this memoir as she navigates the restrictions of her culture along with the challenge of an adversarial father. Fans of coming-of-age stories will enjoy this book.

Two Longenecker houses sat on Anchor Road: One was the green-shuttered white frame house, where I lived with my parents, sisters and brother. The other was a Victorian house surrounded by woods, situated about a half-mile away, down over a steep hill, where my Grandma Longenecker lived with her daughter, my Aunt Ruthie. My sisters and I bounced between the two houses, back and forth, up the hill and down. And up and down in another way, too, exploring each home from cellar to attic.

Each of my family homes provided me with two ways of living to choose from. This memoir tells the of the push and pull of both Longenecker houses, the tensions and strife, countered by harmony and love in each. It reveals the lessons and blessings of each house and the strong characters within them that both shaped my personality and character and set a course for my life choices.”



Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, records the charms and challenges of Mennonite girlhood in mid-twentieth century Pennsylvania.

Such is the backdrop for the story of one Mennonite girl who benefited from a sheltered life with firm boundaries, but who bucked church tradition along with coming to terms with an adversarial relationship with her father. She shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

One of Marian’s stories “Gutsy in Ukraine” was published in My Gutsy Story Anthology by Sonia Marsh, September 2014. Another story Making Love Edible, appeared in the Food and Faith issue of The Mennonite, September 2016. The Jacksonville Arts and Antiques magazine published a personal profile in the fall 2018 issue.

The author writes weekly on her Plain and Fancy blog. She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside.

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