#Review #NetGalley #QueuingForTheQueen
One queue. 250,000 people. Twenty-four life-changing hours.
A young boy wearing a cereal box crown, impatiently dragging his mother behind him.
A friendly man in a khaki raincoat, talking about his beloved Leeds United to anyone who will listen.
An elderly woman who has lived her life alongside the Queen, and is just hoping she’ll make it to the end of the queue to say goodbye.
And among them, a British Indian mother and daughter, driven apart by their differences, embarking on a pilgrimage which neither of them yet know will change their lives forever.
Full of secrets and surprises, this uplifting novel celebrates not only the remarkable woman who defined an era and a country, but also the diverse and unique people she served for so long.
What a lovely book this was. It’s the first book I’ve seen, or read, about the passing of our dear old Queen, and what better way to remember her than to write a book based on the queue that formed to view her lying in state. Focussing on a mother and her daughter who have decided to join the queue at Southwark Park without realising it would take them well over 24 hours!), we follow their journey.
The book is a heart-warming read, although be aware it is a little slow in parts. Obviously, there wasn’t an awful lot to do in the queue, and this reflects in the storyline. It does however introduce us to some wonderful characters that are encountered whilst they wait, and I loved the David Beckham look-a-likes that popped up (obviously remembering that he was in the actual queue!). I personally would love to have joined the queue to pay my respects, but it wasn’t to be. This book gave me a glimpse into what it must have been like to have been part of it.
The storyline wasn’t all just about the queue though. We are treated to a heart-warming story of the relationship between an Indian mother, Rani and her mixed-race daughter, Tania. Their relationship is strained, for reasons which are revealed as the story continues, and I enjoyed the flashbacks to Rani’s earlier life. Her story was quite emotional and tugged at the heartstrings.
This was an enjoyable and easy to read book. It brought back memories of that time also of the emotions that ran through so many people. Would recommend.
Swéta Rana was born into a Gujarati family in Birmingham, and now lives in south London. She studied Philosophy and Theology at Oxford before doing a Master’s in Publishing at UCL. After working briefly in editorial at Orion, she moved into designing and managing commercial websites.
Swéta has enjoyed writing ever since she was a child, always taking any opportunity she can to write fiction pieces, film reviews, or articles on Indian culture. Queuing for the Queen is her first novel.
In her spare time, Swéta takes Hindi language classes, sings soprano in a chamber choir, and volunteers for a mental health charity.