The Red Queen

The Red Queen

A Transcultural Tragicomedy

Book - 2005
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Random House, Inc.
Two hundred years after being plucked from obscurity to marry the Crown Prince of Korea, the Red Queen doesn’t want her extraordinary existence to be forgotten. Her long and privileged life behind the Korean palace walls was not all it seemed, and the Red Queen (or her ghost) is still desperate to retell her tale.

Dr. Barbara Halliwell, with her own complicated past, seems the perfect envoy – having read the memoirs of the Crown Princess on the plane to Seoul, Barbara has become utterly engrossed in her story. But why has the Red Queen selected Barbara to keep her story alive, and what else does she want from her? As she explores the inner sanctums and the royal courts, Barbara Halliwell begins to feel a strong affinity for everything related to the princess and her mysterious life. After a brief, intense, and ill-fated love affair, she returns to London. Is she ensnared by the events of the past week, of the past two hundred years, or will she pick up her life where she left it?

Set in eighteenth-century Korea and the present day, The Red Queen is a rich, playful, and atmospheric novel about love, about personal and public history, and what it means to be remembered. Beautifully told, ingeniously constructed, this novel reveals Margaret Drabble at her extraordinary best.

Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2005, c2004
ISBN: 9780771029073
Characteristics: 334 p. ; 22 cm


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May 27, 2016

7 out of 10. I enjoyed it, but can see where it would be confusing for some readers - it's not a straight, no-brainer read, so don't pick it up for a weekend at the beach.

Jun 22, 2011

I was able to pull through part one of The Red Queen, part 2 was boring and did not interest me I had to put it down unfinished.

Jun 03, 2008

This book was hard for me to read. I had to come to terms with Drabble's observer /narrator style of writing where there seemed to be little emotion. I did persevere to the end only to see what happened. Drabble did hook me as far as the story of the red queen goes, but did not hook me enough to read another of her books. I suspect there were more levels to the work than what I saw, but I did not want to work at it.

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