by William Kuhn
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Description: After decades of service and years of watching her family's troubles splashed across the tabloids, Britain's Queen is beginning to feel her age. She needs some proper cheering up. An unexpected opportunity offers her relief: an impromptu visit to a place that holds happy memories--the former royal yacht, "Britannia," now moored near Edinburgh. Hidden beneath a skull-emblazoned hoodie, the limber Elizabeth (thank goodness for yoga) walks out of Buckingham Palace into the freedom of a rainy London day and heads for King's Cross to catch a train to Scotland. But a characterful cast of royal attendants has discovered her missing. In uneasy alliance a lady-in-waiting, a butler, an equerry, a girl from the stables, a dresser, and a clerk from the shop that supplies Her Majesty's cheese set out to find her and bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal.
The Good Stuff
- Delightfully odd and uniquely refreshing
- Richly developed unusual characters who feel very real
- Makes you realize that the Queen is a living human being and not just a figure head (yes this is a fictionalized version of the Queen - but still)
- Discusses race & class differences but in a non preachy in your face sort of way - almost light and playful - but at the same time makes you see the absurdity of judging someone based on race or class (Hope that makes sense probably should have taken the cold medicine AFTER I finished this review)
- Adored the character of Rajiv and found his back story intriguing - don't want to put any spoilers but his interactions with other characters in terms of his race are funny yet sad and true
- The Queen's journey is that of most women dealing with mid life crisis & depression and the age old question of "Did I do any good in this life?"
- Found myself wondering actually how the Queen feels and what makes her happy
- Actually learned a few things about the inner workings of the Royal Household
- A wonderful healing journey
- Within characters various discussions they discuss frankly serious issues such as homosexuality, post-traumatic stress and depression - again never done in a preachy way, just matter of fact and out in the open
The Not So Good Stuff
- Jumps around a lot which I found quite disconcerting -- but hey I was also very sick while reading -- so take that with a grain of salt
- Felt the yoga bits didn't really work - that they were just thrown in to make it even quirkier - but hey it could be that I just couldn't imagine H.R.H. actually doing a child's pose
"She recalled with shame how little she'd taken it seriously when Diana Wales was suffering from depression. None of them had. In her depression was only something that soldiers returning from battle suffered, 'shell shock' yes, but everyone felt dejected every now and again. You didn't take medicine for it. You pulled up your socks. Went for a walk. The whole Diana business had taught her that depression was an illness and that there were drugs that would help if it didn't lift after a month or two of feeling unhappy."
"This time it was Anne's turn to shoot Luke a resentful glance. He was after all a young man of about her nephew's age, and sometimes she wondered whether all young men weren't in league against all old ladies. Young men hadn't looked at her on the street for a long time and she still minded."
"Now he'd inherited the earldom and was old enough to stand in the pulpit, he thought he could give her a lecture in how to behave. That was gratitude for you. Had she the power, she certainly would have thrown him in the Tower at that moment. But no, she was quite powerless, she had to do as she was told."
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
- Wonderful book for a book club. Would lead to fabulous discussions on the Monarchy, Depression, public figures, fame, racism & class
- Would definitely appeal to those fascinated by the British Monarchy
- Keeping my copy for when my Mother-in-Law comes to visit as I think she would really enjoy this one
I received this from HarperCollins as part of our Indigo Insiders program & am in no way required to review