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The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir Paperback – September 28, 2010


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The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir + The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith + Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452296498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296497
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Elna Baker's memoirs of Mormon chastity and self-denial are presented with such passion and wit and unbridled effervescence that somehow her life comes out as pure erotic adventure, a romance of wild sunshine hedonism. As she juggles it all before us-her doubt and her deep faith and her lust and longing and fierce discipline-she's a dazzlement, a living breathing paradox and an absolute original and a joy to behold." George Dawes Green, Author of Ravens and The Juror, and Creator of the MOTH.

"Is there a stronger subject than the struggle for love, or a better way to face it than to laugh? Baker has got the curse to live absurdly, the gift to tell it honestly, and the nerve to break our hearts. G*d@#n her talent." -Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Elna Baker's memoirs of Mormon chastity and self-denial are presented with such passion and wit and unbridled effervescence that somehow her life comes out as pure erotic adventure, a romance of wild sunshine hedonism. As she juggles it all before us-her doubt and her deep faith and her lust and longing and fierce discipline-she's a dazzlement, a living breathing paradox and an absolute original and a joy to behold." George Dawes Green, Author of Ravens and The Juror, and Creator of the MOTH.

"Is there a stronger subject than the struggle for love, or a better way to face it than to laugh? Baker has got the curse to live absurdly, the gift to tell it honestly, and the nerve to break our hearts. G*d@#n her talent." -Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a fun, easy read.
M. Cochran
Just get it, read it, and learn a vast amount of the real truth about what real Mormons are like, and how they think.
David H. Birley
Simply one of the funniest books I've read in a long time.
Lois Lain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 106 people found the following review helpful By David H. Birley VINE VOICE on September 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is hard to decide where to start this review. I am a Mormon. I joined the Church at age 30, almost 45 years ago. I have lived in the Mormon Singles life then, when I joined, and then after my wife died following 35 years of marriage, I entered the scene again as a seventy-something adult. I know something about the scene Elna Baker paints, and it is so true to life it almost hurts. If you doubt that, take a look at Unfinished Business which tells about a twenty-something new widow entering the singles scene of the Church.

Mormon literature has a tendency to be very self-conscious. In-group terms are carefully avoided either "because non-members wouldn't understand them", or because of a desire not to offend folks not of our faith. Elna not only resists the temptation to fit either of those molds, she writes a memoir that is so candid, so complete, that some of the TBMs (True Blue Mormons) among us might not wish to read the book, or even admit that it exists. Still other TBMs might feel that Sister Baker should be kicked out of the Church. Let me assure you, that is a decision that would only take place between her and her Bishop -- and my guess is that isn't on any nearby horizon.

So, if you are a Mormon, caught by that word appearing in the title of the book, my recommendation? Get it and read it. If you are a TBM, and worried about the Satanic influences of the world corrupting our youth? Get it, read it, and have your eyes opened. If you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Just get it, read it, and learn a vast amount of the real truth about what real Mormons are like, and how they think.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Meg VINE VOICE on August 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After reading the product description, I felt that this book would be a typical chick lit read about a quirky Mormon girl who goes through a bunch of bad dates and finally finds the one. It was absolutely not that! And you know what? That's a very good thing! What this is, is a memoir of a Mormon girl who has grown up in the church, trying to reconcile her relationship with God, and her search for a man. Through the book we see Elna (not Eliza, Elena - Elna!) grow up into a woman of the world who has one foot firmly planted in her Mormon faith. I absolutely adored this book, and now feel like I know Elna (not in a weird stalkerish kind of way) but in a way where I understand what she is going through in her quest. The best part of this book is that it's funny and tongue in cheek, but wise at the same time. Would definitely rate it one of my top books of the year!!
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mint910 VINE VOICE on September 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance is a fantastic example of why I love memoirs! It has everything you would want in an entertaining memoir, things such as hilarious work stories (my favorite part of the book Babies Buying Babies), to relationship problems, to questioning one's faith, to major weight lose. Elna Baker covers a lot of ground for someone so young.

Elna is a Mormon and it was really interesting to learn more about Mormons and also how it played a part in Elna's life. She's constantly challenging her religion and I thought that was a really honest depiction of religion.

This is probably one of the best memoirs I have read in the last few years, when I saw it and I read the title I knew this author would have a great sense of humor and she definitely did. I was also glad that there were serious parts to her story as well, that she could jump back and forth from something hilarious to something heartbreaking shows just how much talent she has.

I really can't put into words how much I liked this so you are just going to have to trust me. I found Elna pretty likable and very talented and definitely hope she continues writing!
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Janet Lee Wolfson on April 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really liked parts of this book. We can all relate to weight problems, boy problems and feelings of inadequacy. By the end of the book, however, I was thoroughly annoyed at Elna's self-absorption. Her dad apparently has a very lucrative position at Boeing that has allowed him to take his family all over the world for work and vacations, and you'd think Elna would realize how fortunate she is, but she doesn't. To have to listen to Elna whine on her all-expenses-paid trip to Greece was a little much. Her parents paid her way through NYU, supported her when she was jobless and even paid for her breast implants and tummy tuck. Even when Elna got her first advance, instead of investing in her future or paying her parents back, she hauls off to Africa with a couple of friends chasing after an ex boyfriend. By the end, I wanted to smack Elna and say "So your sister is prettier than you! So what? So Matt has moved on. So what? Grow up and deal with life like the rest of us have to." Maybe Elna will grow up some day, maybe not, but I'm not really interested in anything else she has to say.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Elna Baker dishes the quintessential coming of age (sort of) story of a Mormon girl outside of Utah. Elna Baker had never lived in Utah, a fact that she claims with great pride. With an unerring eye for the qualities of Mormonism that allows its followers the claim of being "peculiar people" and a genuine love for the church Baker describes her years living in New York following high school. Armed with an upbringing that was loving and a bit unconventional, Baker arrives in New York armed with a belief in her upbringing and a pure belief that righteous actions equal reward. Unfortunately, not everyone else is privy to the same beliefs. Add the fact that she is what we Mormons sometimes call a "sweet spirit (a big girl). She finds her search for self and the person that can appreciate and love that self a bit more complicated and pitfall prone than expected. No matter which way she turns, she is bound to upset or worry someone. Her weight loss opens doors, but once she enters she is faced with choices. The discovery that the man she falls in love with is an atheist turns her world on its ear and her attempts to awaken a spiritual connection within him are hilarious and bittersweet. Elna's own attempts to turn away from beliefs long held and cherished have equally mixed results. She has to stand on her own.

I wish there had been an Elna Baker when I left the nest over thirty years ago. The discovery that the world is complex, much more than ever imagined, and that the recital of beliefs does not protect the individual from having to make judgments and choices that were never discussed in Young women's classes was daunting.
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