Elizabeth, William... and Me

Elizabeth, William... and Me


Fiction - Womens
352 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

S. Lynn Scott began her adult life determined to take the theatrical world by storm. The theatrical world, it turned out, wasn’t quite so keen to embrace her as she had expected it would be, and so, nothing daunted, she successfully turned her undoubted talents to Terpsichorean entertainment in dark, exotic places. There she learned that a jewelled bra and a very large feathered fan are no substitutes for a good book and a cheese and Branston Pickle sandwich. Her further youthful adventures are, mercifully, lost in the mists of time and she now lives with suitable decorum in Leicestershire where she writes, insists on directing others who are better at acting than she is, dreams of working for the RSC and then writes some more. “Elizabeth, William…and Me” is her first published novel. There are others waiting nervously in the wings.

    Book Review

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.

Books Monthly Review

Fascinating... Elizabeth is Queen Elizabeth 1st, William is William Shakespeare, and "me" is Ally - a fly on the wall romp through Elizabethan England... Hugely entertaining!

BOOKBAG Review

Ally is an ordinary woman with teenage children, a husband and a job. Then comes the day when ordinariness flies out of the window. It's not a coincidence that it's the same day she finds Queen Elizabeth I in the pantry and the Bard of Avon in her bath. What's she going to do? Well, Elizabeth and Will have their own ideas about that!
Author S Lynn Scott maintains that all a reader needs to know about a writer is there, in the pages of their books. So, adopting her own formula, what do we discover about Ms Scott? First of all she has a very keen sense of humour, a very keen observational eye and she's very clever, bringing the consequences of living history to a pantry and bathroom near us… well… nearish some of us in Leicester (to be precise).
Here, in a city that's become famous recently for historical characters emerging from odd places, Lynn takes suburban life, mixes it with Elizabethan normality and invites us to sit back to watch the results. All poor Ally can do is the equivalent of herding cats while trying appear as if nothing unusual is happening.
Liz and Will behave just as we'd expect. The monarch is somewhat resentful that a mere playwright is remembered as well as she is in the 2000s. Meanwhile William is just taken aback that his fame has lasted this long. Then come the demands as they each get over the shock and come to terms with 21st century life (or insist that 21st century life comes to terms with them).
The results of their replacement in time are as laugh-out-loud funny as the historic duo's reactions are fascinating. I particularly loved their outing to an am-dram version of Hamlet and the subsequent more culturally-modern expedition. (I won't spoil it but look out for the irony in the song title.) I'm guessing that, because Lynn is also a theatre director, there's a lot of insight and an in-joke or two to boot.
Lynn pulls off the impossible for most of the story, ensuring the adventure has the tingle of authenticity about it. I know – it's about two undead Elizabethans portal-ing centuries forward into the East Midlands and I'm mentioning authenticity? Trust me; it works.
Lynn's interpretation of Elizabeth and William along with their responses and expectations exhibits Lynn's grasp of history which, in turn, provides that dusting of reality.
The only miniscule microbe in the otherwise perfect ointment is that Ally's attempts to get Elizabeth I in to see Elizabeth II may teeter on the OTT at times. However at this point we're well attached and egging them on so it's easy to suspend disbelief with a giggle while enjoying the ride.
Our minds start whizzing towards possible explanations when we realise only random people can see our time-slipped visitors. I went for three different options and was totally wrong, the reason finally arriving and ripping through me from left field.
Yes, this is an author who can turn our feelings on a sixpence… errr… 5p… before leaving us with three things: a smile, a feeling that all will be well and the knowledge that this novel is populated by characters to whom we want to return.

Kenneth Eldridge

A thoroughly wonderful read! Funny, heart-breaking, clever and difficult to put down once started! Fantastic!

G. Thornton-Randall

A lovely warm funny and moving debut novel which twists and turns as we begin to understand the central character, Ally. The fanciful escapism is anchored in the mundanity of real life situations and places. The emotional narrative, as it emerges through the course of the book, is well observed and at times painfully moving. An entertaining and rewarding read. Looking forward to Lynn Scott's follow up.

James Smith

A genuinely engrossing read that forges ahead at breakneck speed. With my goldfish attention span, I'm always on the lookout for sharp, robust prose without all of the flab and political correctness of many of today's novels. "Elizabeth, William…and Me" hits the mark in every respect - a fascinating work laced with cutting humour throughout, and yet, sensitively written - sometimes bittersweet, poignant. There are so many intricacies and surprising facets weaving through the fabric of this book that it will take me another read or two (by no means a chore) to fully comprehend it all.

Expertly written with historical insights and countless twists and turns, "Elizabeth, William…and Me" is truly gripping whether you're a Shakespeare whizz or know diddly-squat.
After this roller-coasting mind-bender, I'm looking out for the next book by S. Lynn Scott!

Eugenie C. Smith

Elizabeth William and Me is a book with a difference and a captivating read, in my opinion, for people of all ages. It caught my imagination from page one and I found I had to carry on reading in order to find out more about the intriguing characters who are so well portrayed on the striking cover of the book. Humorous and skillfully written, S.Lynn Scott brings another dimension to the world of Shakespeare.

Kaly Sahnsi

Brilliant – funny and at times sad, a thoroughly entertaining read. Loved the characters and the unusual story line. Could not help but warm to the central character Ally and the complex situation she found herself in. Didn’t want the story to end and thoroughly looking forward to more from S Lynn Scott.

Lilian Formby

Couldn't stop reading this most unusual story even though at times I found it utterly ridiculous! However, the last few chapters brought everything together with touching conviction. It's a very good read. .

Jackie E

This warm, humorous and entertaining novel tells the unlikely story of the arrival of Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare into the life of its modern day heroine, Ally. Unlikely, but the story is told with such a degree of conviction and infused with such an intimate knowledge and understanding of Shakespeare's work that it becomes entirely convincing. There are elements of the picaresque in its fast moving romp through 21st century Britain which offers a wry, contemporary perspective on modern life rooted firmly in the present, whilst at the same time the Elizabethan perspective through which this modern world is filtered gives it an engaging originality and brings the story to life. S Lynn Scott's wide knowledge of Shakespeare's work breathes new life into the old, familiar stories whilst illuminating her own modern tale. As the story develops, there is a growing complexity in the characterisation, particularly in the character of William, whom she develops with great affection into a sensitive and empathetic person who reflects back all the novel's themes. In the later parts of the novel, the work takes on a more sombre tone, as we begin to learn more about Ally's nature and what brought her to the point where the story begins. This highly enjoyable comedy also has a darker side which explores human nature in its fragility and complexity, just like the best of Shakespeare's comedies. An excellent first novel, and I'll look forward to the next!