Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Read Me, Seymour (A Book Review)

Last Friday, after what seemed like an eternal and what was an exhausting week at work, I came home ready to collapse on my bed and not move again until Saturday morning. To my surprise, there was a book on my bed with a note from my roommate who had just finished the book and thought I might like it.

Extraordinarily pleased, I opened it right away and began reading. From the first page, I was hooked. I was halfway through the book when this same roommate suggested we watch a movie. After the movie was finished, I stayed up until 12:30 because I just had to read the rest of the book. Yes, it was that good.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance is a memoir told by 27-year-old Elna Baker, a young single adult who's forever trying to reconcile her doubt and her faith as she struggles to find her identity in the bustling streets of New York City.

It's charming. It's witty. It's laugh-out-loud funny. It's thought-provoking and moving. It's also edgy and irreverent at times. Sometimes it was painful. But I loved it because it is refreshingly honest and real. And I do not use the term refreshing lightly; think of an oasis in the middle of the Sahara.

She dares to say what probably many LDS young single adults think but few will admit. After all, it's not often kosher in LDS culture to be candid about sex, doubt or the desire to live in the world when not being of the world disappoints.

There were poignant moments when, even though it was her story, it seemed like mine. To me, that is great writing.

It's not a book that will ever grace the shelves of Deseret Book. In fact, most reviews I've read are polarized; people either love it because they can relate or they hate it because her honesty is too blatant, too edgy.

I was delighted. What a lovely way to spend a Friday night. Thank you, blessed roomie (you know who you are) for that little gem.


Kimberlie said...

Thanks for the review. I saw this book was reviewed in People magazine and thought it sounded interesting. Since then I have forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me. I will have to check it out. :)

Jamie Lyn said...

I have the book if you want to borrow it. Like I said, it's edgy and some parts may make you feel uncomfortable, but I also think you would enjoy it.