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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What would you do if you walked into your pantry one day and found Queen Elizabeth I sitting there, as prim and proper as only she could be, and sitting on a bag of potatoes at that – King Edward potatoes? And then, a late night visit to the loo brings you face-to-face with the Tudor queen yet again, but also a very famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Sounds mad? Well, when you think about it, Ally was a little mad. And yet at the same time, she was also saner than the rest of the world. And, as things around her started to really unravel, all because Elizabeth and William wouldn’t leave her alone, we, the readers, start to relate to some of the unrealities and bizarre episodes in Ally’s now frazzled life. It all began, we learn later in the story, with the tragic loss of her son, Alex. But Ally is really the one who is lost.
S. Lynn Scott’s novel, Elizabeth, William … And Me, is everything one would expect in a good Shakespearean play: humorous, tragic, historic, eloquent, dignified, bizarre, and so much more. Each chapter begins with an appropriate quote from one of the bard’s famous plays. Each chapter makes the reader want to both weep and laugh. Each chapter brings the reader closer to finding a real connection with the protagonist, Ally. We feel for her; we feel compassion, joy, sorrow and confusion. We struggle with her strange new apparitions and the sometime ludicrous and hilarious scenarios these apparitions drag Ally into, like her foray in Buckingham Palace and the kindly old gentleman, one who is addressed as ‘sir’ so he must be a royal, who actually listens to her. What appears initially and superficially as a funny parody on life turns into something much deeper, almost a tragedy. This novel is, after all, a Shakespearean presentation, a vision as only the great bard would perceive it, of life in the twenty-first century. And, indeed, what would Elizabeth and William really think of our world today? Very deep and thought-provoking.