Struggling to evacuate Savannah as a Category Four hurricane bears down, Ramona, along with her entourage, navigates police check points, bathroom emergencies, demands from her boss, torrential downpours and calls from her cheating ex, while wishing for the days when her life was like a Prince song.
As a Louisiana native, I am no stranger to hurricanes. 2021’s hurricane season treated those of us in southern Louisiana pretty terribly, and many of us are in desperate need of a few laughs. Enter Carolyn Prusa’s debut novel None of This Would Have Happened if Prince were Alive, a hilarious mom-com, which pokes fun at the absolute struggle it is to evacuate your family when your world is (literally) falling down around you.
The year is 2016 and category 4 Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on the East coast. But that is the least of Ramona’s worries. She just caught her husband cheating on her, with one of the school moms no less! Just add that to Ramona’s ever-growing list of troubles, which include an oblivious boss (who expects her to come into work in the middle of a hurricane), a daughter who refuses to be potty-trained, an elderly mother who knows too much for her own good, and, of course, the monster storm swirling in the Atlantic. Ramona tries to put off worrying about the hurricane to deal with the actual storm that is her LIFE, but to no avail. She has to evacuate. So she loads up the kids, the class guinea pig (did I mention that Ramona has been tasked with caring for a rodent during the storm as well?), and a stray teen from her neighborhood with no parents in sight. However, the fun is just getting started, as anyone who has ever evacuated knows. Buckle up Ramona because all hell is about to break loose!
None of This Would Have Happened if Prince Were Alive is a witty, relatable story about a wife and mother trying to keep all of her plates in the air and spinning while her life falls apart. If you have ever had to evacuate for a hurricane, you already know that it is no cake walk to load your life into your vehicle and drive away from your home, hoping that it will still be standing upon your return. Now try evacuating with a remorseful husband constantly ringing your phone, and a tone-deaf boss breathing down your neck. Luckily, Prusa finds humor in this fraught situation and delivers a book that is both amusing and engaging.
None of This Would Have Happened if Prince Were Alive follows Ramona and family through the ordeal of preparing for a major storm, while also interspersing vignettes from Ramona’s past in the alternating chapters, clueing us in to Ramona’s relationship with her husband, kids, and parents before her life because such a wreck. The result is a fast-paced, snarky read that wives and mothers will feel reverberating in their soul.
SPOILERS - My only complaint is that this novel makes me question if Prusa has ever actually evacuated for a storm … or perhaps it makes me question if things are done a bit differently on the East coast. Ramona has no trouble evacuating - she does not encounter gridlock traffic, gas shortages, or any of the other obstacles that are all too familiar to residents of the Gulf coast who have ever evacuated. Ramona breezes right out of town with no difficulty, which is unfortunate since I would have loved to have seen Prusa infuse some humor into sitting in standstill traffic for hours upon hours with no bathroom or food facilities at your disposal in a car packed to the gills with your possessions, family, and pets and with everyone going more than a little stir-crazy.
- Brooke, Public Relations Librarian