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Popular Book Discussion: Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
6:30pm - 7:30pm
North Park - Meeting Room

The aging matriarch of an international Firm is having a rough time. Her troubled family is constantly making the headlines; her financial advisors are pinching every penny they can; public opinion seems to dominate her otherwise private life; and computers in general and phenomena like Facebook and Twitter in specific seem to elude her understanding. She is feeling a bit past her prime.

What to do? Jet to the Riviera? Indulge in expensive jewels? Buy a small island? No; as “Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith,” she has been there and done that.

Instead, one day the Queen decides to take a walk by herself to a couple of her favorite places in London: her stable, and a cheese shop. The weather is cold and rainy, and a thoughtful stable hand loans her a hoodie. Suddenly incognito in casual attire, the Queen considers her next move: a visit to the spot of some of her happiest times, the formal royal yacht Britannia, which is docked in Scotland. Aided by Rajiv, a cheese shop clerk, and Rebecca, the stable hand, she heads north.

Before long a number of her attendants note the Queen s absence and set out to find her before the British Security Service or the tabloid media learn of the adventure. Hot on the trail are her dresser, Shirley; her lady-in-waiting, Anne; her butler, William; and her equerry, Luke. These people, part of a social hierarchy who would typically never interact with each other (ala Downton Abbey), must work together to find their monarch and bring her home.

Please join us as we discuss this fun and gentle read, a first-time novel from American historian William Kuhn.

“This book is the perfect cup of tea for the year of the Queen s Diamond Jubilee. Give it to lovers of all things British. It s also a good bet for fans of Alexander McCall Smith.” --Booklist

“An imaginative glimpse into the queen of England s psyche as she rebels against her routine. Historian and biographer Kuhn's first novel ought to find an avid readership among the filmgoers who flocked to The King s Speech and The Queen.... An affectionate, sympathetic but also unstinting look at the woman inside the sovereign.” --Kirkus Reviews

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