After reading a few delightful posts recommending this and seeing it on the list as a possibility for the Novella Challenge, I ordered this from the library.
At only 120 pages, and with above average size font, I was easily able to devour this in a few hours.
The story is how the Queen of England accidently discovers a traveling library van on the grounds of the palace and so she decides on a whim to check out a book. This activity, her new hobby, snowballs and takes over her life as anyone who loves to read can appreciate. Once engrossed in a book, she finds every interruption, every duty, any time not spent reading to be quite annoying!
Her staff becomes concerned and attempts to thwart her new ‘preoccupation.’ Her family is actually glad because they find she no longer pays much nitpicky attention to them. And eventually, alas, she realizes that she is a ‘doer’ and reading is not doing. I won’t spoil the ending…
I enjoyed the premise, the lightness, the absurdity. I chuckled frequently and sympathised (sympathy may not be the right word… anyone?, anyone?) with the position of the Queen and how she is supposed to act.
However, I am not familiar enough of some things the author referred to, I don’t have any understanding of French words (my biggest issue with ‘heavy’ literature), and I don’t get many terms I assume are everyday stuff of British culture. So, I stumbled a lot and often skipped over these or became disillusioned with my own world knowledge.
Otherwise, despite or because of my lowbrow and American perspective, it was a cute story.