She Woke Up Married
Judging by the wonderful cover and the blurb on the back of the book, I expected She Woke Up Married to be a fast, funny romantic comedy. While it had its humorous moments, they were pretty few and far apart. Instead, the book focused on the heroine, who was a selfish, spoiled prima donna for about three-quarters of the book. She ruined it for me..
Paris James is a model, depressed about turning thirty and with bookings drying up. She takes off for Las Vegas, gets totally wasted, and wakes up with Elvis. Not the late-era fat Elvis, but the Jailhouse Rock hot Elvis. Actually the man is Turner Pruitt, an old high school classmate of Paris’s who is a minister/Elvis impersonator at one of Las Vegas’s wedding chapels. Despite the fact that Turner is nice, handsome, a wonderful lover, and basically a paragon, Paris runs back home, declaring that she wants a divorce.
Turner follows her to New York and can see the chaos of her life. Said chaos is about to get worse, because Paris is pregnant (as if we couldn’t see that coming a mile away). She is tightly wound to begin with, and is not happy to be pregnant since her mother suffered from severe post-partum psychosis. Paris’s mother neglected Paris’s little sister, and ended up in a mental hospital. Paris’s sister was adopted, her father died of a heart attack, and Paris was raised in an orphanage. Paris suffers from legendary PMS herself, and knows – just knows – that she will do the same thing her mother did.
But Turner loves her and wants their child. He persuades her to go to Las Vegas with him and give it a chance. Paris reluctantly does, weeping and moaning and swearing that as soon as the baby is born, she is gone.
I am not minimizing the very real pain that sufferers of post-partum depression go through, but Paris acts like a jerk. She spends the first three quarters of the book sulking, eating junk food, crying, and shopping. When Turner takes her to a doctor, she refuses to listen. When the doctor finally learns her medical history, and tells her that there are some excellent treatments for post-partum depression, she runs out of the office. She only hears what she wanted to hear. She gets mad if anyone offers any sympathy and acts worse than any drama queen I have ever encountered.
In the meantime, Turner is stretched thin with work. He has Paris and his room-mate Millie, who is an old show-girl, to take care of. Sarah, the daughter of some old friends of his parents, comes by. She’s going to college at UNLV, and Turner asks her to stay till school begins. Does Paris get jealous? Naturally, even while she’s still swearing that she’s going to leave.
Someone finally delivers a major slap-down to Paris (I’ll admit, I cheered) and she stops acting like a bitch. She grows up, and begins to think and act like an adult, but for me it was too late. For almost the entire book, she didn’t listen to anyone, or even make an attempt to help herself. Frankly, Turner was way too understanding and I couldn’t fathom his attraction to her.
I’ll sum up by saying She Woke Up Married was a waste of a terrific cover. The subject of post-partum depression deserves to be treated seriously, but Paris was too irritating and unlikable for me to care what happened to her.