I must admit, when my husband suggested this as our next Netflix binge I was iffy at best. An entire series on chess? How completely boring, I so wrongly thought! This series was so fascinating that as soon as I realized it was based on a book by Walter Tevis I had to read it! The book did not disappoint.
The Queen's Gambit
An orphaned girl glows up to become a shark in the world of chess shocking men around the globe. This book takes place in the 1950s when women are still considered intellectually subpar. Beth is both young and female as well as battling an addiction which started at the jarring age of nine. But she is also clever, calculating and extremely good at chess.
The Queen’s Gambit is a heartwarming and empowering coming of age novel. I immediately formed a deep bond to little Beth. She was such a real protagonist that I longed for this book to be based off of a true story just to know that Beth really existed and overcame. Tevis truly entered the psyche of a young girl turned young woman. I didn’t feel a male presence behind the story at all, even when Beth started her first period during a chess tournament.
After watching the entire series and knowing what was going to happen, I still couldn’t stop reading this book. (Which by the way, the Netflix show is a great adaptation of the book; a seamless and respectful transition that covers all important details.)
The Queen’s Gambit hit all of the emotions- an overall incredibly sad but inspiring journey with heartwarming moments of friendship, love and pure joy. I’m not sure why I had never heard of this book before. I highly recommend it to all!
Tevis also wrote The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth which were made into major films. The Hustler was adapted into the 1961 movie featuring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason inspiring a generation of pool sharks.
If you are planning on reading (or have recently read) this book, I recommend checking out my Pinterest Board- especially the vintage fashion. It’s stunning!
Other sections: music, movies and books mentioned as well as an article on the true story behind those green tranquilizer pills……