TJ Allen’s Perfect Aquarian describes the author’s decision to conceive a child and the details of her pregnancy and delivery.
The book’s first sentence is a bombshell: “What if at the age of thirteen you were hospitalized from a simple harmless pat on the head.” Unfortunately, Allen never adequately explains what happened, beyond noting that it caused a “pulsating, painful paralyzing effect to my hands and arms,” and that “I was told that by age twenty two [sic] I would be paralyzed and deceased shortly thereafter.” This seems to have informed a “live fast, die young” attitude for her early life, a recklessness she sets aside to have a child after she has at least a decade beyond age 22.
The story then downshifts into a routine pregnancy diary, detailing doctor visits where things are generally normal or require minor treatment to remedy. Notes about who drove her to an appointment, or Allen’s extended family and work life, add little to the story. Jumbled sentences contradict one another; for example, at one point, Allen says the doctor was “surprised to find that my water had broken,” then immediately describes how he used a tool to break it himself. The narrative contains many punctuation, tense errors (“…I looked forward to giving birth to what I can only pray is a normal and healthy baby”) and other technical issues.
Allen seems to have had a vision for this story but was distracted by the minutiae of the experience and missed the big picture. Had she better described any medical issues challenging this pregnancy, or gone into greater depth about her feeling that having a child was the ultimate selfless act, it might have had more thematic coherence.
As it is, readers will be left with many questions. Proofreading and editing for clarity would greatly improve this offering.
Also available as an ebook.