Sunday, November 15, 2009

114. The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker


Let me begin by telling you what this book is not.  It is not an LDS mystery or romance; it is not an LDS conversion story; and it is not an expos√© of unsavory secret Mormon practices.  Elna Baker is a single, Mormon comedian living in New York City and this is her story of how she tries to reconcile her belief system with the social practices of the Big Apple.  Throughout the memoir, Baker shares her experiences at seven Singles Halloween Dances.  Her costumes are a riot, but her hopes of meeting "The One" Mormon male are dashed each time.  Then there are the other single pitfalls (pratfalls?) just lurking for the naive young Mormon.  At first, she is overweight, but losing the weight brings a whole new set of problems:  dating a lot more but with non-Mormons who don't understand the "wait until marriage" mentality.  I think her experiences are spot on for a lot of young single LDS women.  What I really liked about Baker was the way she would turn to God and the scriptures for answers and help.  I liked how she shared the peace she felt when receiving answers.  I loved some of her stories, so hilarious; others made me cringe, what was she thinking to share that with the whole world.  Her complete honesty was totally refreshing except for a few times when it was too too much.  To be fair, in her dedication; she does warn her parents:  "This book . . . aside from the nine F-words, thirteen Sh-words, four A-holes, page 257, and the entire Warren Beatty chapter . . . is dedicated to you.  You might want to avoid chapters twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, anything I quote Mom saying, and most of the end as well.  Sorry, am I still cute as a button?"   It's always a good thing when you start a book laughing, isn't it?  I like that she tested her beliefs which in the beginning only strengthened them.  What I struggled with was the way she tried to make deals with the Lord, never a good idea because what you want may not be the best for you.  As in any life, faith is on ongoing process; and it seems fitting that it is still ongoing for the author as well.  I really did enjoy the book except for the profanity and some sexual encounters, again way too much information there. 
Rating:  4.25

4 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to get your perspective on this one! I've seen this one around and I keep wondering if it's one that I want to pick up or not. Sounds like I do but I'm not in a huge hurry either.

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  2. I've been reading a number of Mormon-related books but all seem to deal with the "Big Love" issue, not the more 'normal' face of the religion. I'll keep my eyes open for this one.

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  3. Hmmm, interesting. We have this book at the libary but I didn't reall know what it was about. Sounds like I might have to give it a look!

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