The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader is an absolutely charming novella about the Queen coming across a mobile library and becoming an avid reader. The premise alone is wonderful, and the writing absolutely does it justice. I’d never read any Alan Bennett before, but after recently watching The Lady in the Van I remembered that this had been waiting on my Kindle forever and a day, and dug it out for a few hours reading in between longer books. And what a well-spent few hours they were. The Queen’s burgeoning passion is delightfully described, and her urgency to “catch up” with the world of literature truly resounds. The breadth and depth of Bennett’s knowledge – on matters both literary and royal – shine through, and his depiction of Her Majesty sparkles. My only disappointment is that the Queen never got round to reading Harry Potter! I can’t recommend this highly enough.

[Read on 30 June 2016]

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