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. She needs some proper cheering up. 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 into the freedom of a rainy London day and heads for King's Cross to catch a train to Scotland. But a characterful 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 find her and bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal.
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train is a clever novel, offering a fresh look at a woman who wonders if she, like Britannia herself, has, too, become a relic of the past. William Kuhn paints a charming yet biting portrait of British social, political, and generational rivalries—between upstairs and downstairs, the monarchy and the government, the old and the young. Comic and poignant, fast paced and clever, this delightful debut tweaks the pomp of the monarchy, going beneath its rigid formality to reveal the human heart of the woman at its center.
Topics: England, Debut, Poignant, Queen, Trains, Journeys, Servants, Satirical, Depression, Edinburgh, and Based on a True Story
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It's a unique story that's for sure - Queen Elizabeth II impulsively sets off on a train journey across the United Kingdom whilst feeling sombre and during the journey reflects upon her life and comes to a few realisations.
It's good to see more books touching on mental illness (specially depression in this case) which don't typecast the sufferer as "crazy".
Overall, I found Mrs Queen Takes the Train to be a nice easy going read, light and enjoyable with a mix of history throughout which kept it both interesting and entertaining.