Mennonites the Name: Evil and Deception are the Game by Heidi Loewen

Mennonite is the Name...Evil and Deception are the GameAn autobiographical account of Winnipeg’s Loewen family, during its darkest history. Out of the shadows of secrets and lies – many years later – the truth emerged. This is the story of Wilhelm and Olga Loewen, their children, Willy, Vera, Walter, Heidi, and Robert.

What happened with the family owned businesses, the Piano House Ltd., and Yamaha Canada Music Ltd? Adding insult to injury were the confessions of a disbarred lawyer – a convicted felon – who was sentenced to seven years at Stony Mountain Federal Penitentiary for fraud.

This book has been in the making for nearly 60 years.

I was drawn to this book when I spotted in the bookstore because it was written by a local author. I was fascinated by the story; I knew many piano players who owned “Loewen” pianos, and went to school with some Loewen’s so my curiosity got the better of me.  It was nice to read familiar German phrases and finally understand what they meant.

The author has an amazing story to tell; riddled with secrets, deception, theft and family discord – everything that is against the Mennonite belief system, which I once married into. It opens the door to suggest that as long as no one knows what you are really doing, anything goes and it doesn’t matter who you hurt in the process. It is hard not to feel sorry for the author, who has obviously carried a lot of pain with her over the years. She is also a survivor because she managed to rise above it and share her story in an effort to seek justice for herself and her children.

While I love to support independent authors, I have to offer a harsh criticism – editorially, this book is very hard to read. If you read it just for the story, it is okay – but if you are expecting more, you may be left shaking your head. I found myself putting it down several times to clear my head because I found parts of it frustrating to follow. The author should have had it professionally edited and laid out as there are many misspellings, inconsistent capitalization, and some of it reads like it was never edited at all. There are sections that appear to be just cut and paste with no real reason for being in the book. This is very disappointing.

 

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