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Saturday 21 January 2017

Queenie's Teapot by Carolyn Steele


A little bit of a departure, this one, from my usual preferred genres. I like to be adventurous, so why not a political satire? Steele isn’t an unfamiliar author to me…her non-fiction A Year on Planet Alzheimer was very enjoyable.

Brexit and Trump have probably caused the most discussions, arguments, fallouts of any political upheaval in recent history. But politics is always a divisive subject and a choice of leader is never a unanimous decision. Could the man in the street do a better job? How about choosing a group of people from any walk of life and letting them sit in parliament? All they have to do, guided by a team to steer them through it all, is serve for three years in the field for which they have been selected. The head of state is no less elite. An ex Tesco floor-staff employee is chosen for the job (much to husband Bert's disgust…). She’s well up for it, but her teapot and knitting must go with her everywhere.

An intriguing concept, isn’t it? But some things never change: unrest over change, demonstrations, disillusion…are still rife. It’s up to the new parliament to muddle through. 

The big question is, did I enjoy this ‘something completely different’? On the whole, yes. Queenie’s unworldliness is very appealing: she’s a very uncomplicated, honest, hardworking old soul who loves knitting…and tea. Her ingenuity endears her to many, the reader no less. The characters’ backgrounds are varied, but down-to-earth. My only reservations are that, for me, the story didn’t really get out of first gear until very late and suddenly went from 0 to 60 in the shortest time possible at the end. It was just a teensy bit farfetched and disjointed. I did like the fact that the characters’ ‘stories’ were neatly tidied up…but with enough openings left for a sequel, perhaps.

This was a fun romp into what-if.

See Also:

A Year On Planet Alzheimer

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