A debut relationship guide for women looking for men who will treat them like princesses.
This self-help relationship book is divided into 36 short chapters covering such diverse topics as “Do you wear your sexy underwear for you or your man?” and “Divorce—the slow fading of your bond to each other.” Each chapter is divided into two sections titled “Personal” and “Professional” to separate the advice the author has gleaned from life experience (she’s been married to her current husband for 10 years, and was married to her first husband for 16 before she was widowed) and the knowledge she has gained through her career as a psychologist. The sections are so similar, however, that readers may find that this distinction feels needlessly complicated. The overall conceit that the book “contains real stories and allusions to common fairy tales we know from our childhood” also feels a bit threadbare; James frequently refers to women as “princesses” (“Just remember, he married you because you are his princess and you have to be sure to be like a princess”), but the only story she specifically references is “Cinderella.” Most of the advice is grounded in generalizations about men and women that seem old-fashioned: “Equal rights does not mean it’s permissible to ask a man for a date, to call a man, tell off color jokes, get drunk, or use profane language.” The author frequently addresses readers as “Girlfriend,” but she may not come across as particularly relatable, as most of her personal stories are about how wonderful her current relationship is. It might have been helpful to balance these observations with harder lessons she’s learned, but the book instead presents romantic relationships in broad, impersonal terms. Her chapter about divorce, for example, includes the assertion that “it is easy to get out of a marriage”—something that many divorcees might disagree with.
An advice book that too frequently relies on outdated gender stereotypes.