River Queens Review
- Title: River Queens: Saucy Boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America
- Author: Alexander Watson
- Format: hardback copy
- Genre: memoir, travel, lifestyle
- Page #: 320
- Publisher: Orange Fraser Press
- Release date: October 15, 2018
- My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
*** This post may contain spoilers. ***
Two men and a spotted dog restore a vintage Chris-Craft motor yacht and launch across the American Heartland from Texas to Ohio. The restoration, the people they met along the way, and life in an America which few know exists are the story of River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America.
**** I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher but all opinions are my own. ****
I was unsure about this book when I started it because it’s about a LGBTQ couple restoring a vintage boat as they travel from Texas to Ohio on said boat along rivers through parts of my country I’ve never been too. I am not part of the LGBTQ community, I’ve spent a very limited amount of time on boats (& even less time on yatchs), and I’ve never restored a vintage anything. But despite all these differences I found the book hard to put down.
Mr. Watson found a way with words to make all the differences not matter and keeping me reading late into the night. I have never had the opportunity to visit any of the states mentioned in the book, yet I found that this detail was unimportant in relating to the story as I greatly enjoyed it. He communicated what needed to be imagined with lines such as “a woman dressed in a magenta blouse and canary yellow pedal pushers, floats to his side like a bubble about to burst. ‘Oh, my Lo-ord,’ she says taking the Christ’s name in vain across two syllables.” (Pg 153) with descriptions like these you don’t need any prior information about the places they stopped to appreciate the final line of the book. “It was the America from which we hope to never fully return” (epilogue, pg 287) is the United States that I am so proud to be a part of and it’s nice to know that other people, so different from me, find the same parts linger fondly in their hearts.
All I’m saying is this book might sound like it’s ment for a specific type of reader, but it’s not. I think this memior has been written for the people who want to sit back and enjoy a book, no matter if they have asimilar or different lifestyle than the gay yatcher telling his story. If your looking for a book that illustrates that there are still warm hearted Americans out there look no further, this is it. And you’ll learn some fun new facts as you do.
Near the end of the novel the author is faced with the loss of his dog and his response was extreme. Yet completely justified in my opinion, I have a feeling my response to my pets death will be just as extreme now that I’m an adult and fully comprehend the magnatude and will be the one forced to make the decisions surrounding it. Once I experienced his grief I realized that although we might appear different on the surface we are really the same type of person mentally, because a person’s response to this event says volumes about who they really are. I hope that time has easied the pain but I doubt he will ever find complete peace with it and because of that my heart goes out to Alexander Watson. I just hope he comes to accept that a pets spirit will stay with you long after their gone.
I would recommend this book to everyone. I don’t care if you have an interest in boats, restoration, or the LGBTQ community or not, just read this book.