Sunday, October 6, 2013

Novel of the Week - Pomp and Circumstance by Noël Coward

English cover
Italian cover
                 

























I’ve already told you how I choose books when I’m in a library…I read the title and look at the cover, if I like it, I buy the novel, sometimes even without reading the plot. Here in Italy, the translation of Pomp and Circumstance by Sir Noël Coward has been translated as “The Queen’s Journey” so I grabbed it….Once I was at home I discovered that the plot was a bit different of what I thought…

Here it is!
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The whole story is set in the beautiful  Samolo island, British protectorate. It’s written in first person by the point of view of Grizel, mother of three kids and close friend of the governor’s wife, Alexandra (Sandra). 

One day, while Grizel is resting in her house’s garden, Sandra comes in and gives her a bomb news : HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of  Edinburgh, Prince Philip are going to be guest in Samolo for THREE entire days!!! It’s a top secret news and Grizel has to swear that she won’t tell anyone…After Sandra left, Grizel’s husband Robin comes home and tell her the exact same thing about the Queen’s journey.

For the next days everyone on the island discuss of the “secret news” and when it became official, they find out that all Samolo already known about it. It starts an  hectic period where an organizing committee want to set a giant water parade for welcoming the royals….                                                                                 Meanwhile Grizel has some other problems to face : an old friend from England,  Eloise, is coming visit. She has married a duke, but she’s coming to stay with Bunny, the man who has an affair with. Grizel accepts to accomodate Eloise in her house and Grizel’s determined to prevent her friends from a scandal, but it’s a small island….

I didn’t expect a plot like this, where the Queen’s journey is only background. Despite of it, I enjoy this novel very much. It’s filled of English humor, the descriptions are accurate and the dialogues hilarious...The entire novel is very funny. I recommend it!

My vote : 10/10


Related movies/Tv series and books are:                                                                                                                     
- "Easy Virtue" (2008) by Stephan Elliott . With Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin        Firth [this is actually from another Sir Noël Coward’s work, it was written as a theatrical piece]

- "Downton Abbey" (tv series) created and written by Julian Fellowes

-"My Last Duchess" by Daisy Goodwin

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