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In Lack of Restraint, Baker addresses the challenge of awakening awareness to a difficult social reality. Noting an oppressive view of teen pregnancy, he wrote: “It was no pleasure writing it…though I meant every word in the book, and sincerely believe that it’s an accurate reflection of certain aspects of modern life, perhaps even mild by comparison.” Indeed, if he had his way, Lack of Restraint would have been required reading in every American high school. “…as for the erotic parts,” he wrote…“most kids would take them in stride. I doubt if I’ve said anything that they don’t already know.”
Lack of Restraint may not ring true to those with orthodox views -- it is difficult to pity reckless teens that make predictable mistakes and gripe about the consequences -- yet Baker felt a sense of obligation, expressed through main character, Reta Ellis, to protest against potentially harmful, social dispositions at a time before birth control pills, legalized abortion, sex-education and abstinence programs, and the fear of AIDs. Before such advances, the author provided a prophetic view of today’s continuing tragedy of teen pregnancy, runaways, and unwed mothers.
Provoking and impassioned, Lack of Restraint results from Baker’s propensity to write what characters say, do, think, and feel, and to portray life as he sees it - shock value notwithstanding. He wrote, “I often cringe, too, and feel uncomfortable, but I don’t try to be sensational and write in a lip-licking way. I only say what I think should be said and should not be hidden.”