I always find Queen Victoria fascinating and this book is no exception. The author relates for us the story of Victoria’s friend Abdul, who comes to her household originally to serve at table, but becomes one of her closest confidantes in the last decade of her life. I think Shranani Basu has done a wonderful job of bringing the main players to life. I really had a sense of being a fly on the wall watching the various dramas unfold. I thought it was wonderful that this Abdul had come along in her older years and opened up a whole new world for her. He made Indian food for her, taught her to speak Hindi, and introduced her to the culture of India, over which she was Empress, and yet a place she would never visit. Meanwhile, her family appears to have been insanely jealous of the relationship. Well, I say 3 cheers to Victoria for wanting to learn new things all the way to the day of her death.
This story has now been made into a movie, which I have not yet seen so I’m not sure how well it keeps to the story. I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this chapter of the Queen’s life and it just confirms my impression that she must have been a wonderful person to know. I think that Abdul brought a level of excitement back into Victoria’s life at a time when others were starting to write her off because of her age. I highly recommend this book for its color and attention to detail and historical accuracy.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4.5 stars!!