The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir (A Book Review)

Mar 05, 13 The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir   (A Book Review)

9780452296497

 

“Impossible is Nothing,” it said. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

​This was my favorite quote from Elna Baker’s book.  She used humor and sarcasm in a way that is rare when discussing Church values and ideals but that gave the book charm.  Elna’ssearch for inner peace and religious peace was told in a way that made the reader have the same thoughts and doubts.  I appreciated the tone and wit that she used to express her story.

imagesElna Baker uses her memoir as a venue to discuss the Gospel, her testimony, faith and how she can reconcile those with real life.  Living as a struggling single actress in New York City already presents some challenges, but Ms. Baker is a Mormon girl too.  A large portion of the book is spent discussing weight and how Elna went from a size 20 to a size 6.  While she doesn’t believe that she changed personally, others around express that she isn’t funny anymore.  This led to some great insight into the correlation of the appearance and personality. She uses humor, sarcasm, quite a few swear words and a small amount of self-pity, but gives a rich and colorful texture to her life.

​I believe that Ms. Baker was very courageous in sharing her perspectives, her doubts and fears and also her hopes for her future.  The story was very honest and sometimes shockingly true to real life.  She deals with chastity issues in the same moment as a desire to do missionary work.  I love the scattered thoughts. I almost forgot I was reading a story about someone that I didn’t know.  She shared feelings that I share; she expressed doubts that I’ve expressed; She has weaknesses that I have also.  Ms. Baker didn’t hide from her reader audience.  She shared her life openly and honestly.

 

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Born and raised in Southern Oregon to goodish parents, Tana has read more books than most people will ever own. Tana also loves the outdoors, staying active, and enjoying friends. When not coaxing her daughter out of her bedroom for some light, she can be found playing volleyball, basketball, or taking pictures. If she ever disappears don't go looking in Costa Rica *wink*.

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1 Comment

  1. Melody /

    Thanks for this review, Tana. Well done.

    I read the book a while back (found it at Costco – how could I resist?). I agree she did a great job sharing honestly and she has a unique voice. It’s wonderful seeing more LDS writers getting their work out, especially women writers, but it wasn’t the best I’ve seen. (For this last statement I may incur some wrath, but in the spirit of honesty, that’s my view. It was hard for me to stick with it.)

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