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Mrs Queen Takes the Train: A Novel by…

Mrs Queen Takes the Train: A Novel (edition 2012)

by William Kuhn

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2623043,510 (3.8)28
Title:Mrs Queen Takes the Train: A Novel
Authors:William Kuhn
Info:Harper (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2012 challenge, borrowed book, library book, fiction, England, friendship, monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II, travel

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Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This book was an absolute delight. My husband, who usually doesn't care about this "royalty stuff", also read it and demanded an instant sequel to be written. I concur with that assessment.
It was a nice way to look into the inner workings of a usually hidden way of running the royal household! ( )
  yukon92 | Sep 13, 2014 |
It was a fun enough storyline, with interesting characters with different backgrounds. It really bugged me that the action kept jumping backward when the book switched persepctives though, to overlap with what had already been covered, at varying lengths (sometimes the same day was covered, sometimes the same hour). Also, there was jumping back years at a time with no indication. Finally, the ending was rather too nicely sewn up, with everyone going away in a pair. But I did appreciate the historical detail and local color. Oh, and there were small pictures randomly inserted. Different. Not sure how I feel about them. Not distracting, really, but not needed. An attempt to help the modern reader? If so, a bit patronizing. ( )
  margaret.pinard | Jul 24, 2014 |
A good read that gives plausible pictures into certain staff members of Buckingham Palace - although fictional, the author has put enough details so that it could be real people. (although you know they're not, minus Queen Elizabeth II.) ( )
  sriemann | Jul 3, 2014 |
This is darling of a book.
  Bookoholic73 | Jun 16, 2014 |

The publisher says: An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn...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.

My impression: What a fun book! This light, cheery, and surprisingly introspective work looks at the burdens of isolation, old age, and changing mores not just in Merry Olde England, but with enough panache to allow us to apply it anywhere. Some might see it merely as a somewhat pedantic view of the value of maintaining a monarchy. Kuhn chooses to portray a Queen who is struggling to do her duty as she has been taught and to be human with all the fatigue, self-doubt, and anxiety that goes with growing old, watching loved ones die, worrying about children, and trying to figure out what life is all about before it's over.

Just imagine Her Majesty traipsing through the streets of rainy London with no umbrella, wearing her trademark head scarf and a borrowed hoody with a skull and crossbones on the back.  It can only get better from there.  This one is a short read, but is not one to be brushed aside. For me it was a perfect palate cleanser from a steady diet of ponderous, dark, and often pompous literary fiction. Books like this one make reading fun, and at the same time give us a glimpse of what might be ahead.

I got this one in audio because it was right there for the picking. It was a great choice. Definitely recommended.  ( )
1 vote tututhefirst | Mar 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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William Kuhnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Several years ago, on a dark afternoon in December, Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Her Other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth of Nations, Defender of the Faith, Duchess of Edinburgh, Countess of Merioneth, Baroness Greenwich, Duke of Lancaster, Lord of Mann, Duke of Normandy sat at her desk, frowning at a computer screen.
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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. When her royal attendants discovers she is missing, they set out to find her and bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal.… (more)

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