Booknotes

The Mill Grinds Fine: Collected Poems
Helen Wade Alderfer

DreamSeeker Books, 2009
135 pages

Helen Alderfer of Goshen, Ind., now 90, worked as an editor of various Mennonite publications for many years of her life. Since a child, she says, she has also written poems. Alderfer tells stories with her poetry. The gem-like narratives she crafts, of her childhood, parents, gardens, husband, memory, and mortality, are marked by honesty, humour, wisdom, and gratitude.

A Prairie Pilgrim: Wilhelm H. Falk
Mary Neufeld

Private, 2008
461 pages

Wilhelm Falk was a leader in the 1937 renewal movement within the Sommerfelder Gemeinde that led to the formation of the Rudnerweider Gemeinde (later, Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference), and became its first bishop. This biography of a church leader is unusual in its class (and pleasingly so) for the amount of attention it pays to the man’s home life, especially the “drama” of his second marriage to a much younger woman. Author Mary Neufeld is one of Falk’s daughters so there is personal quest in the book as well, and some matters of public record or perception she wants to set straight.

Like a Mustard Seed: Mennonites in Paraguay
Edgar Stoesz

Herald Press, 2008
311 pages

Edgar Stoesz of Akron, Pa. is clearly fascinated by Mennonites in the “inauspicious land” of Paraguay – he has visited 20 times, worked many years with Mennonite Central Committee in its Latin American program, and co-authored an earlier book on the subject, Garden in the Wilderness: Mennonite Communities in the Paraguayan Chaco. And he has good reason to be fascinated: Mennonites’ presence in the country is diverse and truly intriguing. Here Stoesz introduces all the Mennonite groups of Paraguay, not just the Chaco. The book is interesting and attractive, and enhanced with photos and maps.

—Dora Dueck

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