Review: Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess by Jerramy Fine
Once upon a time there lived a little girl who dreamed of being a princess one day. Unfortunately, in spite of her best efforts, young Jerramy couldn't prove she was of royal lineage (despite a strong belief that she was switched at birth), and consequently had to settle for marrying a prince to fulfill her dearest wish. This unusual quest led Jerramy to England, in pursuit of one prince in particular - dashing Peter Phillips, who happened to be precisely her age. And that's how Jerramy Fine found herself in London, kissing pirates in lighthouses and sharing a flat with gorgeous male models. But real life can't always be a fairy tale, and Jerramy soon learns that sometimes a girl's got to kiss a lot of toads before she finds her happily ever after.
This memoir feels like a conversation with the author - intimate, personal, friendly. The language is eloquent and the narrative flow is fluid. There are several recurring motifs -- of people and places and ideas -- that tie the vignettes together. Though a memoir, this story reads like a fairy tale, modernized by contemporary codes of conduct and lively teenage debauchery: Cinderella meets Gossip Girl. Yet there are moments of real-world perspective amid the glitz and glamor that give it more depth than a fairy tale fantasy. The narrative occasionally becomes a deeper look at social structures, juxtaposing poverty with the shine of royalty and privilege and relating the princess fetish to the philanthropy and open-mindedness of the late Princess Diana. When Fine ultimately makes her pilgrimage to that beloved icon's final resting place, the memoir takes on a deeper emotional tone, sobering the reader and the narrator.
This is not just the story of a girl but the story of a society, evoking the dazzling intricacies of British culture, full of history and tradition and the air of regality, with as much knowledge as admiration. The many footnotes and asides on the English monarchy make for an interesting and memorable history lesson (I owe a correct Jeopardy answer to Fine's description of the royal family tree). Fine creates a compelling blend of cultural tidbits, life lessons, personal anecdotes and powerful quotes. Though the condescending manner of several people can be off-putting at times, it effectively conveys the sense of class consciousness pervading the novel and the described social circles. Fine's later adventures certainly evoke sympathy; the first-person conversational style of the narrative engage the reader on a personal level, strongly conveying the emotional highs and lows experienced by the author. Though some of the more elaborate adventures are probably not relatable to the average reader, it is still a thrilling flight of fancy to be taken along for the ride.