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Publisher's Summary

The fascinating story of the village of Riseholme's reigning queen of high society: the indomitable Lucia!

England between the wars was a paradise of utter calm and leisure for the very, very rich. But into this enclave is born Mrs. Emmeline Lucas - La Lucia, as she is known - a woman determined to lead a life quite different from the pomp and subdued nature of her class. With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, she upends the greats of high society, including the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Pug; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and everyone else in the small English town that the wealthy Britons call their country home. Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, the fine arts, and a great deal of excitement and intrigue into this cloistered realm.

(P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[A] delicious satire of the pretensions and foibles of provincial middle-class life in Britain in the 1920s and '30s...[with] droll send-ups of the bitter battles waged by matrons desperate to live out their fantastical versions of upper-class elegance and wit, and...shrewd readings of the ways in which our longings can make us both bizarre and sometimes appealing." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
  • Meg
  • San Angelo, TX, USA
  • 04-16-09

A delight

A little slow to get into but well worth it! Funny characters and situations, well narrated.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Gloria
  • Carmichael, CA, USA
  • 01-02-16

If you like the television show, Frasier, you'll love this book

The story is full of the absurdities of the self involved. The characters and situations will give you a chuckle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful characters and interactions

Would you consider the audio edition of Queen Lucia to be better than the print version?

Not this audio edition - it is read way too fast for me to truly enjoy and savor it.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters and their motivations seem authentic.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

SLOW DOWN!!!!!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Jilted, replaced and reclaimed

Any additional comments?

Beautifully written and intricate enough to hold my attention. I get so tired of mystery novels and prefer stories involving understanding of human relationships which can vary from culture to culture but still contain the common thread of humanity. "Make new friends and keep the old ones..." I like the book so much I will try another reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Always irresistible.

Nadia May is superb, which suits Lucia just fine. The story as narrated by miss May is never tarsome

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Salsonero
  • Gainesville, FL United States
  • 07-12-12

Excellent reading

Which character – as performed by Nadia May – was your favorite?

Ms May does a delightful job with the male voices.

Any additional comments?

Nadia May does a fine job at bringing this charming story to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 04-22-14

Love Lucia, would like more unabridged Lucia pls

I'd love to hear the other Mapp and Lucia books unabridged, they are such a delightful treat to return to again and again. Delicious characters in a small community set in the 1920's, wicked and gossipy and fun, fun, fun!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 03-01-15

scintillating

What made the experience of listening to Queen Lucia the most enjoyable?

the fact that it was so culturally alien to my life and the fact that some of the snobbery was so easy to understand. I could see why in such a tiny world as Tilling that so many small mishaps have such large consequences. Funny and brutal

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

too rich for just one sitting

Any additional comments?

Listen to Miss Mapp first then both stories will make better sense.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon
  • 01-08-15

Before North Shore High - there was Risholm

Having been in hysterics watching the "Mapp and Lucia" adaption on BBC recently, I thought I'd get a bit more familiar with the original 1920's series. And I'm so glad I did.

If you find the Blair Waldorfs of this world bit lacking in substance - then this is for you. These deco gossip girls (and boys) are the original "mean girls".

Kept having to remind myself these were written in the 1920s. They are so pithy and quick they could have appeared in the last decade, were it not for the lack of iPhones and Facebook references.

I found it hard not to contain my laughter and horror on the train to work as Lucia's true grasp of the "bella lingua" inevitably gets uncovered.

The Wagnerian and piano references are a secondary plus (to anyone with a classical music bent) and I continued to chuckle at Lucias avoidance of the last two movements of the Moonlight Sonata. Delicious.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Gill
  • 02-17-15

Brilliant, tiny world

I love the Mapp and Lucia books and this one was beautifully read. The life and death import of tiny matters of etiquette in the village of Riseholme is beautifully sketched. The complete absence of children and young men in this contrived but all consuming world must have given some respite to readers in the 20's, many of whom would be struggling with the loss of sons or lovers. Well worth the money.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Astral Surfer
  • 09-16-14

Perfect portrayal

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Excellent narration captures the innuendo and arch idiocy of every character.

What other book might you compare Queen Lucia to, and why?

Others in the Mapp and Lucia series, but Benson is a one off.

What about Nadia May’s performance did you like?

Distinct voice for each character which captured the humour, manners and satire all at the same time.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I spread it over a few sittings. Virtually every line is a gem and it's worth savouring.

Any additional comments?

I've read the books and listened to a couple of radio adaptations of Mapp and Lucia. I've watched the 1980s TV series and never tire of the humour and satire. The characters are so filled with their own importance and place and they interlock with panache. It's a wonderful portrayal of a particular inter war period which will never be seen again. The pretensions, class distinction and daily one puma ship is priceless.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Emma
  • 04-12-10

Charming

This is a charming reading of the light and amusing activities of Lucia and all the delightful characters who live in her village. A pleasant and entirely soothing accompaniment to the day's activities.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • The Aardvark
  • 11-26-17

You will laugh!

The highlights are the marvellous narration by Nadia May and the wonderfully understated satirical comedy.

  • Overall
  • Hazel
  • 11-13-12

So boring blah blah blah

I read 2/3 books a week an tried to get into this book on 5 different days. Never read anything so boring. Could not get interested at all worst book I have bought in years Blah blah blah. Money back please!,,

0 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Fiona Thurn
  • 09-01-15

Very entertaining

Nadia May does a fantastic job of bringing all the characters in this story to life. While a scathing criticism of the rising middle classes in the 1920s, this is also great fun. There is both criticism and affection expressed, even for the worst of them at their worst. A very entertaining listen. Be warned the "N" word crops up out of the blue; an artefact of different, less enlightened times.