A gifted story teller and comedian, Elna Baker takes us on a roller coaster ride of wicked fun. With candid humor she relates her struggles as a chunky kid and young adult, growing up NOT in Utah, but in Seattle, Madrid and London. She chooses to attend NYU instead of BYU as a young adult, setting her dream on becoming a New York actress. With astonishing will-power, Elna sheds eighty pounds fast and discovers she has not changed, but men, in general, react differently to the now svelte Elna. With great comedic skill Elna Baker weaves for the world a tale that is one part journey of faith, one part laugh-out loud funny, and the remaining part adorable, yet carnal. In the pen of a lesser talent, this tale would come off as goofy, instead The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance is a delight.
It is clear to the reader Elna has a strong belief in the gospel and she does not care what the rest of us may think of her. I was most impressed with Elna’s ability to show the good, bad and ugly of LDS culture and doctrine in a charming, believable and quirky way.
On page 9:
Once I tried explaining it to a friend who had the mistake of thinking the founder of the Mormon faith was John Smith. I told him that it was actually Joseph Smith, and then I went into all the things I believed. I thought I was doing a good job explaining everything until he said, “So basically John Smith and Joseph Smith were two different people but, according to you, Pocahontas was actually a Jew?”
On page 22:
Which brings me back to the beginning: The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance. Me, in the corner by myself, with too many cookies and a notebook. To make matters worse, I just witnessed a thirty-five-year-old man—definitely a virgin–dressed in a duck costume doing the electric slide.
I read my first review of this memoir in my hometown paper a couple of weeks ago. Intrigued I bought it immediately on Amazon. I feel it my duty to inform our M* readers, I was unaware The New York Regional Mormon Singles Dance is rather naughty. I have to be honest in admitting I found her G and PG excerpts to be funnier than the PG-13 and R excerpts. Elna also warns her audience in a brilliant PR move on her dedicatory page:
Mom and Dad,
I could never have done this without your faith, support, and constant encouragement. Thank you for teaching me to believe in myself, in God and in-my dreams.
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?
That pretty much covers it. So if you can be comfortable with the language and the PG-13 sexual content you will find this book to be honest in engaging hilarity. If not, don’t buy it, just borrow it from the library or a friend instead.