Yoga of the Impossible, by Diane Frank (1st World, 2014)
Review by Rustin Larson
One cold October morning some years ago, I waited for Diane Frank’s car to round the corner. The sky was pale and rosy as it was still early and we had a two-hour trek to Des Moines where we would spend the day as critics at the Iowa Poetry Association’s Fall workshop.
I could tell Diane thrived on these events. She dressed as if she were going to a dance, and she was chatty and animated as we drove along, the early morning sunlight crackling over rows of corn stubble in the harvested fields.
Among other things, Diane chatted about her love of contra dancing, about romantic intrigue and the convoluted courtship rituals of single people in our small town. It was an interesting tale, told in lively declarative sentences with little ornamentation. It was entertaining and it lifted a veil from the lives I had encountered at the cafes, the whole food stores, and the offices.
Reading Yoga of the Impossible is, for me, a return to the experience of that clear voice. Diane has translated herself into the character Katarina, a woman with a past of deep mystical experiences that help define not only her inner life, but also her path as an evolving spirit, and as a woman in search of the fulfillment of an earthly love.
Does she find it? That would be telling too much. But I can say the journey is well worth traveling, and it entertains with dreams, visions, humor and, yes, lots of romance.
My opinion? I think this is the best thing Diane Frank has written. It stimulates the senses like nothing else, and it leads you clearly and keeps you with the protagonist like a close friend. Could be a movie? Hell, yes!—at least I would like it to see it—it has music, dance, humor, and a suspense-filled love story. Think of Nora Ephron gone new age. The payoff at the end will warm you, make you cheer, and leave you cheering for more!
P.S. Diane Frank will be reading from her new novel at the MUM Library North Lounge on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 7:45 p. m., and she will be signing books at the Icon Gallery on Friday, November 7 during the First Friday Art Walk.