“Was the crisis real or make-believe?”

kuhnWhat makes a light novel, such as this one, satisfying? Texture, I think, can have a lot to do with it. While the plot is thin — The Queen of England decides to leave the palace for a day — the author incorporates photos from actual events, insider knowledge of palace staffing policies, drawings of yoga poses, Downtown Abbey-style tension between the classes, and lines from Shakespeare to provide heft. In the end, it’s the lines from Henry V that resonate with many of the central characters and lead to the plot resolutions. Is it predictable? Sure. Satisfying? Absolutely.

William Kuhn, Mrs. Queen Takes the Train (New York: Harper. 2012),  355.

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