Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Other Boleyn Girl: A Review

Yes, I know, another book that came out a few years ago and a movie to go with it, but like I said I’m a little behind on my reading list.

So, here it goes…

The Summary:

The Other Boleyn Girl is the story of two sisters and rivals: the infamous Anne Boleyn and the “other girl” Mary Boleyn.

When the lovely Mary comes to court at the age of 14, she catches the eye of King Henry VIII. Mary is already married but that hardly stops her family from using her as a pawn to advance their interests. Mary is coerced and convinced into seducing the king. She ultimately succeeds and actually falls in love with Henry. Mary enjoys her role as unofficial queen and revels in having bested Anne.

Eventually Mary bears two children by Henry though legally their father is Mary’s husband, William. However, after the birth of her children, Mary becomes disenchanted with the king as she begins to see him for who he really is: a selfish, spoiled brat.

It is during this time that Anne takes advantage of both Henry and Mary’s waning interest to seduce Henry. She succeeds. Anne’s entrancing charm goes so far as part Henry not only from Mary but also from the queen and from the Roman Church.

The Other Boleyn Girl is an intricately woven story of intrigue, rivalry, ambition, lust and love.

The Review:

The Other Boleyn Girl is a truly intriguing read; at times, it was hard to put the book down. This is a long book at 661 pages but it goes fast for the most part. There are parts in the book where the author gets a little to lengthy with descriptions of the scenery (so just do what I did; skim or skip them ;).

What I love about this book is the accuracy of historical context, but be warned it is a work of fiction so don’t get too hung up on the details.

More importantly, the author took time to flesh out all the main characters and even some secondary characters. Each of the major players has a history, depth, and dimension. No one is entirely good or evil. This is a trait I don’t often see in books, so it’s refreshing.

Overall, The Other Boleyn Girl gets a solid four out of five stars. Good story but it’s still back to the library for the Boleyns.

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