My Life in the Milonga

One Woman's Journey into Argentine Tango, a Story of Passion, Self-Discovery and Human Connection

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
278 Pages
Reviewed on 06/12/2019
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Author Biography

For the better part of my life I called myself a California beach girl. Mostly, I thought of myself as a tomboy. I grew up on the beach in Venice, California, body surfing, and playing beach volleyball, and tennis.

Later I moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado where I began calling myself a mountain girl. Then, I spent my time skiing, mountain biking and hiking. In the summers I would hike for hours in the wilderness areas of Colorado, enjoying the beauty and solitude.

From an early age I had a passion for travel and have been lucky enough to see a lot of the world. I have sailed in the Caribbean and scuba dived in Indonesia, the South Pacific and the Caribbean and traveled to many European countries.

Then came the day I saw Argentine tango danced for the first time. In a matter a months it became my passion.

I have a throw pillow sitting on my couch. That says:

Life is short

Live your dream

And share your passion

When I bought it many years ago, I thought, ok, I know my dream is to travel more. But what's my passion?

Well now I know, my passion is tango and its fit perfectly with my dream of travel. These days I travel the world living my dream and sharing my passion for tango with the people I meet along the way.
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

My Life in the Milonga is a true to life work of inspirational non-fiction, penned by author Susan Ring, and in its own words it describes “One Woman's Journey into Argentine Tango, a Story of Passion, Self-Discovery and Human Connection”. Set in an age where technology and dispassionate connections have become the norm, author Susan Ring takes her readers along on her physical and psychological journey of re-establishing real human connections through learning to dance the Argentine tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Socializing and learning in the milongas of the big city brought new clarity to a once ordinary and somewhat empty life, teaching lessons which she now shares through her written work.

This dreamy, inspirational story has such visceral descriptions and atmosphere that it could sometimes be mistaken as a windswept and exotic work of fiction. Author Susan Ring presents herself honestly for her readership, her prose written beautifully with personal touches, but also with great clarity and heart. Her journey of self-discovery certainly inspires amid this exciting atmosphere and heated emotional state, showing us that the exotic life that some of us dream of is actually real and achievable if you find the thing that sparks such passion in you. More than this, I really enjoyed the cultural lessons learned about living in another country, and the interpersonal nature of dance and the milonga culture itself. Overall, My Life in the Milonga is a motivational, exciting work for anyone who dreams of more from their life.

Gisela Dixon

My Life in the Milonga: One Woman's Journey into Argentine Tango, a Story of Passion, Self-Discovery and Human Connection by Susan Ring is a non-fiction memoir about Susan’s life-altering experience with tango and Argentina. This book is divided into several chapters that focus on Susan’s life, especially in recent years. After being raised by a mother who often taunted her and who had narcissistic tendencies, and a long marriage with a husband who also displayed selfish traits, Susan finally starts establishing herself in middle life while coming into her own. While she does have a daughter and a circle of friends, she still feels that something is missing and seems to find it with her introduction to the dance form of tango and its South American tradition. Over the years, she starts spending more time in Argentina and takes lessons to become better and better at the dance. In the process, she feels a sense of joy and freedom which she hasn’t felt in her life before and this is what forms the theme of the book.

I liked reading My Life in the Milonga by Susan Ring and found myself rooting for Susan. Despite being in dysfunctional relationships in the past, she has found her passion in life in her middle age and this is encouraging for everyone to read. Her writing style is casual and candid and her passion and love for tango and what it means to her are very apparent. More importantly, this story is about finding what makes you happy at any age or stage in life and hopefully provides inspiration to others to go after their dreams. This is an enjoyable, well-written book.

Deborah Lloyd

After decades of criticism and other forms of emotional abuse by her mother, and then ex-husband, Susan Ring decided it was time to change her life. With a life-long passion for travel, she decided it was time to finally venture to Buenos Aires and learn how to dance the tango, an item on her bucket list. Dancing the tango became part of the fabric of her new life, as she grew in confidence and understanding of the importance of human connectedness. In My Life in the Milonga: One Woman’s Journey into Argentine Tango, a Story of Passion, Self-Discovery and Human Connection, penned by Susan Ring, a healing path is forged as she immerses herself in the Argentinian dance and culture.

There are many great features of this book that I enjoyed. Anyone who loves to learn about different cultures will certainly enjoy the detailed descriptions of Buenos Aires and its barrios; its kind and compassionate people; the milongas where the tango is danced. The culture of the milongas themselves is certainly fascinating – how men “ask” a woman to dance and how she can say no, preventing any hurt feelings; the sensual dresses and shoes women wear; the physical closeness; the roles of leader and follower; the list goes on. How Susan learns to navigate these complex expectations is fascinating. As time goes on, she compares life lessons to those experienced in learning the tango, a thought-provoking perspective. Author Susan Ring has crafted an intriguing memoir in My Life in the Milonga: One Woman’s Journey into Argentine Tango, a Story of Passion, Self-Discovery and Human Connection. An enjoyable read!