An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn - author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books - Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain's Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town - and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England's monarchy.
©2012 William Kuhn (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Royal watchers and students of class alike will enjoy this smart, if familiar, tale." (Publishers Weekly)
"Kuhn does a convincing job of inhabiting the heads of his characters, crowned or not. ... An affectionate, sympathetic but also unstinting look at the woman inside the sovereign." (Kirkus Reviews)
Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...
this book was so sweet. if you appreciate understated british humor and, well, shyness in a way, you will enjoy this book.
Love books and love to put in my two cents' worth
This was just spectacularly amusing, well written, well read, with an unexpected depth and wealth of characters and story lines. I have no idea why I bought this, but it was my lucky day. The apparent story -- the queen of England decides to "run away" and experience one ordinary normal excursion - is only the thread that holds together the stories of several persons all associated with the palace staff in one way or another. The narrator manages to render all of them compellingly, and even the silly-seeming plot is told in a charming way. I can't think of anyone who would not enjoy this story.
In the middle.
When the Queen does "normal" activities that are unexpected of a queen, like cooking, washing dishes etc.
The Queen. Who doesn't want to have dinner with the royals?
It was a cute story and was entertaining.
This is a sweet story centered around the Queen of England and the issues that swirl around her. The story is a fanciful journey into what might be the background stories behind the real people that are the royal family and the people that serve them. Pretty predicatable, but will put a smile on your face.
While slightly predictable, this offbeat and charming story unfolded gently, focusing on the characters' stories. It reminded me quite a bit of the way Jane Austen treated her characters, with a kind ribbing towards their foibles and failings, yet never ridiculing them. The narration was superb - perfectly calibrated to give the story its full weight.
Good blend of recent events and completely made up story about the Queen. Though it is illogical to feel this way, after listening I feel both admiration and empathy for her. I wonder if she ever is able to forget her role and just be a person.
Probably not a repeat listen, but it was a charming little story, humanizing Queen Elizabeth. Being Queen is not an easy job !
So many books, so little time
Simon Prebble's narration takes a good yarn and makes it moving and memorable. He handles the various accents so as to make the characters come to life as individuals.
I suppose this couldn't really happen but while listening to the story, I believed that it could.
I will never think of Queen Elizabeth again without thinking of her as she appeared (fictionally, of course) in this story.
Lady Anne remains most vivid in my imagination. I really liked how she and Shirley, the Queen's dresser, made common cause to keep the Queen from coming to harm.
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