This choice came about on the recommendation of Jacqui, who had herself come across it on a chance recommendation. It was generally considered a book that kept readers absorbed, even though the subject matter meant it couldn’t really be called an ‘easy’ read. The journals – the books within the book – were generally considered the strongest parts of the book, which elicited a majority positive reaction, although some people did wonder if it did quite live up to the hype preceding it. But that is a whole other discussion for another time.
The book club’s reaction to this book was unanimously positive, combined with pleasant surprise that such an apparently slight book threw up so many points of discussion.Even though the protagonist was such an uncommon reader, her reading journey struck chords with all the ‘commoners’ reading.*
Her foil – if he can be called that – Norman, was a favourite character. Even though his reading material could sometimes be suspect, the process of his promotion to Queen’s amanuensis was cited as a laugh-out-loud part of the book. His dismissal to the University of East Anglia, and subsequent triumphal return at the end of the book, symbolised the Queen’s reading journey coming full circle.