The King’s final fiancee breaks her long silence.
Presley fans hoping for some scenes with sizzle will need to reread 50 Shades of Grey instead. Here, there are a few chaste kisses, and the first time the couple actually engaged in any sexual contact, Alden reaches into her well-used bag of clichés and emerges with, “I felt chills as he touched me. Was this it? Were we finally going to make love? I was aroused but anxious, barely able to breathe.” The author’s account is resolutely chronological, beginning with her father’s encounters with Presley in the U.S. Army (encounters not involved in his daughter’s later relationship) and moving forward to the King’s demise on Aug. 16, 1977, when she found him toppled over on the bathroom floor—the author does not go into much detail regarding his death. A couple of decades younger that Presley, Alden was swooped into the Presleys’ odd life at Graceland. Soon, he was showering her (and, eventually, her family, too) with gifts: jewels, cars, furs and some promises he didn’t live to execute. (An unfulfilled promise to pay off her mother’s mortgage was an issue that ended up in court.) Alden also writes about his weird and ugly sides, but always with (remembered) affection. He hit her once (apologized), discharged firearms at a TV and telephone (apologized), hurled a dish of ice cream at the wall when she mentioned calories (apologized), and pouted and waxed passive-aggressive when he didn’t get exactly what he wanted. The author’s many descriptions of Elvis’ fascination with numerology and conspiracy theories make him appear—unintentionally, it’s clear—as something of a dim bulb despite his bright talent. After the King’s death, the others gradually elbowed Alden away, and he did not mention her in his will.
A rosy aura glows throughout this misty memoir of love and loss.