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All That This House Has to Offer, by Betty R Wall

Written by the daughter of Russian Mennonite immigrants, this collection of heritage stories takes the reader from a small war-torn village in eastern Ukraine in 1943 to a hamlet in Austria and finally to the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is here that Jacob and Katie settle and create a new life for their family, upholding the traditions of their Mennonite heritage while embracing the new. A return trip to St. Peter am Kammersberg in Austria with adult children in 1974 creates further insight into the past and a juxtaposition to the present.

Through vignettes of farm life and travel, the generations of women in the family share their stories, highlighting the struggles between old and new perspectives and spiritual and secular values. Two captivating stories, “Safe Haven” and “The Green Jacket,” explore the challenges faced in navigating the complexities of heritage and identity.

At times both heartwarming and heart-wrenching, All That This House Has To Offer pays tribute to the enduring power of home and family. With humour and insight, this book captures the essence of one Mennonite immigrant experience and the resilience of those who build new lives in foreign lands while still cherishing the traditions of their past.

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