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I picked up Queen of the Road at the same time as Wife in the North. Both were memoirs about women relocating in a dramatic way to accommodate their husbands' dreams, both grew from blogs (though I didn't know it when I ordered them), and both were LibraryThing Early Reviewer selections in the same month. The reading experiences could not have been more different. I won't go on and on about my disappointment that Wife in the North simply reprinted blog entries, as I've already written that review, but I will say that Queen of the Road was a blast. Refreshingly written in normal-book format, with chapters, and character development, and unity of purpose (not to mention hilarious, delectable martini recipes preceding each chapter), Queen of the Road chronicles the year Doreen spent with her husband in a converted bus (don't feel too sorry for her--it's a luxury home on wheels), seeing America and learning what's really important in life. At the very beginning, when Doreen announces she's a proud Long Island Princess with 200 shoes, I was bummed because I never understand women with that many shoes, and I'm not so much into fashion. Fortunately, Doreen proves to be much different from the shallow, materialistic woman I had expected. The best part of the book is watching her grow as a person (from a semi-hermit who works from home and spends as much time in pajamas as possible to a true Queen of the Road), closely followed by learning about different places in America along with her.
If you had asked me before I read this book, "Hey, would you ever spend a year in a converted bus?" I would have laughed and laughed, but Doreen's journey actually seems...fun. And liberating, eye-opening, and life-changing. Doreen is funny and instead of whining constantly about "the bus thing" her husband is so keen on, she embraces the experience. Her marriage with Tim is really inspiring, and "the bus thing" manages to bring them even closer together. There were a few points of self-reflection when I uncharitably thought she devolved into trite platitudes, but you know what? Reminders that "things" are not as important as people, or that people can change and grow, or that venturing out of your comfort zone can open your eyes--these are not unique, but that's because they are a part of the human experience, and the way Doreen finds her way (and herself) is refreshing. This book is highly readable, fun, and inspirational.