Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review

Yesterday I finished reading The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Greggory. It was the book that the movie recently made was based on.

I must say that for the first half of the book, I was kind of bored...I didn't hate it, and it was interesting enough for me to not put it down. But as the book progressed to the second half, it got really good and I found myself liking it more and more. By the end (if you know your history, it isn't a spoiler), I couldn't wait for them to chop off Ann's head.

If you are a fan of historical novels, then this book is for you. They aren't really my favorite type, which is probably why it took me so long to get into it.

Sisterly rivalry is the basis of this fresh, wonderfully vivid retelling of the story of Anne Boleyn. Anne, her sister Mary and their brother George are all brought to the king's court at a young age, as players in their uncle's plans to advance the family's fortunes. Mary, the sweet, blond sister, wins King Henry VIII's favor when she is barely 14 and already married to one of his courtiers. Their affair lasts several years, and she gives Henry a daughter and a son. But her dark, clever, scheming sister, Anne, insinuates herself into Henry's graces, styling herself as his adviser and confidant. Soon she displaces Mary as his lover and begins her machinations to rid him of his wife, Katherine of Aragon. This is only the beginning of the intrigue that Gregory so handily chronicles, capturing beautifully the mingled hate and nearly incestuous love Anne, Mary and George ("kin and enemies all at once") feel for each other and the toll their family's ambition takes on them. Mary, the story's narrator, is the most sympathetic of the siblings, but even she is twisted by the demands of power and status; charming George, an able plotter, finally brings disaster on his own head by falling in love with a male courtier. Anne, most tormented of all, is ruthless in her drive to become queen, and then to give Henry a male heir.


  1. I have this book on my shelf to read... and I just keep finding other things to read before it. I'll get to it eventually....

  2. I loved this book! Right from the very beginning, I couldn't put it down. It is SO much better than the movie.


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