Book Review: ‘Don’t Call Me Mrs Rogers’ by Paige Parker

Don't Call Me Mrs Rogers by Paige Parker

When I first found out about this new release, I was tempted to get it straight from the bookstores. It seems to promise tales of adventures, epic fights (it does say “loathing” on the cover) and invaluable insights into the relationship between investment guru Jim Rogers and his less-famous (but no less awesome) wife. The book ‘Small Fry‘ by Steve Jobs’ daughter, Lisa, really helped satisfy my curiosity about Steve. I was hoping this book would do the same. What I neglected, though, was the fact that Steve’s no longer around while Jim still is, and the couple also have two daughters who would definitely be reading this book. So, it’s either restraint I detect or an overwhelming saint-like ability to forgive and forget. Most women (or perhaps I can only speak for myself) get better at describing an unpleasant situation (such as a fight with a spouse) with each retelling of the same story. Paige’s account lacks that added punch of emotion. After all, if my guy calls me a “Stupid bitch!”, my account would be as fiery, if not more.

Reading this book is like watching a long documentary. It’s not reality TV and you don’t really feel the need to tell anyone else they should read the book too. I was initially a bit puzzled as to how Paige can remember details of this 3-year round-the-world journey with Jim. Was she using her imagination to fill in the gaps in memory or does she simply have a fantastic memory? Later on in the book,  they were fighting over a laptop and it appears she does her ‘writing’ on it. In which case, I think a ‘diary’ format would be much better. With dates and places stated clearly before each chapter. Otherwise the book always seems to be in that strange zone between fiction and non-fiction.

I think Jim Rogers picked the perfect way to select his third wife: a three-year-long journey around the world. If the pair can survive the trip, they’ll survive anything that comes after. Even if you’re a gold-digger, there’s only so much you can tolerate. And such a ‘crazy’ journey to foreign lands, away from friends and family, and with only one person as your constant companion, you’re bound to reveal questionable motives, if any. According to Wikipedia, Jim’s previous marriages lasted around three years each. And it does appear to me that this one will be ‘the right one’.

I admire Paige’s courage in dropping everything and leaving for this journey with a man who’s not yet her husband. One must be feverish with wanderlust in order to do that. Maybe Jim had really swept her off her feet, who knows? And I can only cringe while reading her descriptions of some truly awful locations, when she has to go without bathing for 5 days and her hair is full of oil. Good grief! I do also love her account of how she grabbed the collars of men who’d groped her bum, and how she’d smacked them repeatedly. You go, girl! And it does seem like she has a heart for helping women and children. So she’s not just one of those socialite types who attend galas and fundraisers mainly to be seen and to win ‘Best Dressed’ awards.

I think Jim’s gotten really good at picking the right woman to be his wife. Third time’s the charm, I guess. 😉

‘Don’t Call Me Mrs Rogers’ is available at libraries and bookstores near you, so grab a copy if you’d like.