Kuhn gives his novel's Queen a charming runaway escapade
Everybody, even the Queen of England, needs to get away once in a while, and that's what Her Majesty does in the whimsical “Mrs. Queen Takes the Train” by William Kuhn.
It is said one of the few times the queen wept in public was when her beloved Royal Yacht Britannia was retired. The yacht was decommissioned in 1997 and is now berthed in Edinburgh, where tourists traipse the decks and gawk at the queen's stateroom. Even so, the Britannia is where the queen's adventure takes her.
Her spontaneous me-time ride from London's King's Cross to Edinburgh's Waverley station follows a bout of depression that strikes as she contemplates royal scandals: her children's divorces, the public backlash to her seemingly callous response to Princess Diana's death and the grim reality of growing old. (The novel is obviously set before the recent glory days of the Diamond Jubilee.)
The queen walks out of Buckingham Palace and, wearing a borrowed skull-emblazoned hoodie, her incognito journey begins. But Elizabeth is not without backup. With the aid of Rajiv, the young man who works at the local cheese shop, and Rebecca, a royal stable hand, she wends her way north with her dresser, lady-in-waiting, butler and equerry all in hot pursuit.
This is a novel, but no matter how you felt about the queen before reading it, you'll come away thinking Her Majesty, at least this fictional one, charming, caring, thoughtful and brave.
William Kuhn's book is hard to categorize. But its light comedy, romance and royal sensibilities, mixed with subplots touching on aging, political correctness and respect for sexual preferences, make for a delightful escape.
Carol Memmott is a staff writer for USA Today.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Jack Bruce, bassist of 60s band Cream, dies at 71
- Flight 93 memorial fire hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- Cafeteria worker tried to stop Washington school shooter
- Ferrante trial: Cyanide order form in plain sight
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Fábregas: Cancer-stricken California woman chooses to plan her death
- Man robbed, shot in East Liberty
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins