BIG THANKS to Ellen and Random House for sending me this book to review!
“Queen of the Road” by Doreen Orion
Published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House
Rating: 4 stars
Doreen Orion refers to herself as a Long Island princess, which isn’t too hard to believe given her affinity for designer shoes and her love affair with mixed drinks. Just in case you weren’t completely convinced of Doreen’s ‘princess’ status, she explains how she tricked her husband into being responsible for all of the household chores by mixing whites and colors in the washing machine and inefficiently loading the dishwasher in the beginning of their marriage.
While I realize that this description of Doreen doesn’t make her sound too appealing, you just have to read the book to understand why she is so endearing, not to mention hilarious. How can you not find the humor in someone who boasts going a record 118 hours without leaving the house? She loves her home and her television but her husband Tim, craved more adventure and proposed the somewhat crazy idea of taking a year-long bus trip across the United States. With a lot of convincing on Tim’s behalf and some ridiculous amounts of alcohol on Doreen’s behalf, they set off on their year-long adventure, visiting friends and family, renewing their wedding vows in Vegas and even stopping by a nudist colony!!
This book was really enjoyable because of Doreen’s funny way of recounting their journey and the amazing characters they encountered along the way. It also gave me a nice overview of some parts of the United States that I’m not too familiar with (I am Canadian after all)! I also liked that Doreen decided to include a nice amount of historical information whenever she talked about a certain landmark or destination.
Hilarious adventures aside, there is a great message to take away from this book. Doreen and her husband felt incredibly renewed and experienced a greater appreciation for life after taking the time to explore and travel. They also strengthened their marriage by eliminating the usual distractions that can often get in the way of quality time with loved ones. Although not anyone can just decide to take a year off, I think Doreen’s story inspires a sense of appreciation for all that life has to offer and teaches us to put the iPod down and shut the computer off, if only for a little while.
Be sure to visit Doreen’s hilarious website detailing her adventure with travelogues and podcasts.