William Kuhn’s Mrs. Queen Takes the Train looked like a cute and playful look at a monarch who might sometimes want to get away from it all…
About William Kuhn:
William Kuhn is a biographer and historian, and the author of Reading Jackie, Democratic Royalism, Henry & Mary Ponsonby, and The Politics of Pleasure. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. This is his first novel. His next book, a work of historical fiction, explores the friendship over nearly forty years of Isabella Stewart Gardner and John Singer Sargent.
About Mrs. Queen Takes the Train:
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. 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 and heads for King’s Cross to catch a train to Scotland. But a colorful 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 bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal.
Comic and poignant, fast-paced and clever, Mrs Queen Takes the Train tweaks the pomp of the monarchy, going beneath its rigid formality to reveal the human heart of the woman at its center.
Poor Queen Elizabeth. She’s feeling down – who wouldn’t, with all of the criticisms aimed at the monarchy? And then she’s told that her royal train is going to be decommissioned. They’ve already taken her yacht and her airplane, now her train too? What’s a Queen to do? At least she still has her horses…
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train is a lovely lark of a story, with a plethora of characters to absorb and follow, and a hoot of a series of
misunderstandings opportunities that allows a reigning monarch the ability to slip into the normal populace and hop on a train to make a visit to her beloved yacht. All because she’s feeling a little blue, and seeing one of her favorite things just might perk up her spirits.
Along for the ride are a cheese-selling clerk of South Asian descent and a people-shy girl from the Queen’s stables, who’re both keeping an eye on Her Majesty as Her personal staff scramble to try and get her back to London before the world notices she’s gone. And while I enjoyed Her Majesty’s “real” interactions with Her people, I really had fun reading about her dresser, equerry, butler, and lady-in-waiting – in addition to the clerk and the girl. I liked this light-hearted, humor-filled romp of an adventure with an unlikely protagonist and an interesting supporting cast, and think you will too. Pick it up for a fun way to while away a few hours.
drey’s rating: Pick it up!
Have you read Mrs. Queen Takes the Train? If you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of Mrs. Queen Takes the Train for you. This one’s open to US & Canada residents. To enter, fill out the form below before October 24th. Good luck!