Documenting her fairy tale romance with Elvis Presley, the author breaks her oath of silence and reveals her secret love affair, pregnancy with Elvis's child, and agonizing breakup with the King. Reprint.
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Bova, a staff member of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, reveals all she knows about Elvis, but her subject has been so intensely overexposed that even the most intimate details sound familiar. In 1969, in Las Vegas, Bova and a friend were hand-picked from a line of waiting show-goers to meet Elvis backstage. Bova believes that her instant rapport with the King grew out of the fact that she is a twin, as Elvis was, although his brother died at birth. Thus began her three-year relationship with a man who was obviously troubled and affected by giant mood swings. Though her own personality remains in the background, Bova manages a no-nonsense outlook and explains that she stood by her man because of love, even though he was married and had complete disregard for her career. Presley had some odd ideas about women: He was so insistent on purity that she hesitated to inform him that she was not a virgin (``In a way he was right, it would be `new' for me,'' she thought about her prospective sexual experience with him), and when Bova was pregnant (unbeknownst to him), he explained that once a woman had given birth he could no longer be attracted to her (she subsequently had an abortion). Presley's addiction to sleeping pills was a constant problem, but Bova had trouble confronting him about it and took them herself at his insistence. Bova also outlines the King's spiritual side, which involved vague, self- important beliefs that he was teaching people through music and that he was ``put here on earth to serve a special purpose'' with his unique powers. A somewhat pathetic portrait of the entertainer limping toward death. (16-page photo insert, not seen) (First serial to National Star; Literary Guild alternate selection) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
Here's a novel idea: a book about someone who knew Elvis Presley. At least Bova knew him in the biblical sense, which adds a little spice to what otherwise is as slight and silly as a Presley movie. Act one: Joyce Bova, 24-year-old Priscilla Presley lookalike who works on Capitol Hill, goes to Las Vegas where a backstage meeting with the King sets hearts fluttering. Act two: well, the flap copy says it best: "In a whirlwind romance that swept her from the corridors of Congress to the secluded verandas of Graceland, Joyce jeopardized her career and defied her strict Catholic upbringing to be with her lover." Act three: Bova gets pregnant, but when she tries to tell Elvis the news, he gives her his take on motherhood: mamas don't have sex after the baby is born. (Readers of Priscilla Presley's book will recall that the King suffered from an industrial-strength dose of the whore/madonna complex.) Act three, continued: Bova has an abortion, but that doesn't save a relationship riddled with too many drugs. As with so many who knew Elvis, Bova apparently has total recall of every conversation she ever had with the man. There's not much to remember, really, but it beats Bova's own musings on life: "I sat there by myself in the dark and thought and dreamed and fought that lonely battle we fight against our own insecurity, against the icy inner terror that freezes your guts and makes you shrink back from the big scary world out there." It may freeze your own guts to buy this book, but if there are Presley fans in your neighborhood--and there are--you have no choice. Ilene Cooper
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