Monday, September 28, 2015

Summer Reading Highlights, Part 5: Contemporary British - Mrs. Queen Takes the Train and The Book of Tomorrow

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

This was a very cute book about what Her Majesty the Queen of England might actually be like when the cameras are turned off and the crowds disperse. Having ruled the kingdom since her 20s, in this story the Queen is getting fairly tired and restless (I think justifiably!), and decides to act spontaneously in what can be assumed to be the first time in quite awhile. 

I really liked the way that the story followed not only the Queen, but also the small handful of people affected by her impromptu jaunt, leading to a fairly well-balanced cast of characters (it's not all high tea and tiaras). However, having the story set from so many different perspectives, with flash-backs peppered throughout, did make for a somewhat confusing read. For such a light book, I really felt that I needed to pay attention! 

But other than that minor quibble, this was a fun, easy read that I would highly recommend. 

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern 

This book started a little slow, and I wasn't sure how much I would like either the characters  especially the main character, who by her own admission was quite a brat  or the story line. Even when she found the mysterious book, I wasn't particularly taken. But then the mystery of the story and the supporting characters really picked up and I found myself not being able to put the book down. 

I loved that the ultimate mystery solved by the end of the book hadn't even been something the main character (and therefore the reader) even knew was something to be solved! While she was busy worrying about one thing, suddenly another thing entirely came to light, and it made for a fairly suspenseful second half of the book. All in all, I think it's well worth wading through the set up in the beginning to get to the pay off at the end.

Keep reading! Beth 

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