The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
The truth is … once I sat down and started reading, I could hardly put the book down. The draw for me to this book was the historical signifigance. yes, it is a fiction book, but the basic outline was actual as I discovered by my research on the Boleyn’s.
The Other Boleyn Girl is an excellent portrayal of one of the most fascinating eras in English history, the turbulent reign of Henry VIII. Under Henry’s direction, the English Court changes course, breaking from the Roman Church in order to dissolve Henry’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon, who cannot provide a living heir to the throne.
The Boleyn’s as well as the other influential names of the times, fawn over the King, fightling for titles and status.
When Henry first notices Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister, he is attracted to her beauty and her youthful manner. Mary, already married, is acceptable for a tryst with the King. (Up until this book, I don’t belive I had ever heard of Mary Boleyn – which is exactly the point of this book and why the book is narrated from Mary’s view point.
Mary is the primary focus of the novel, even when replaced in the King’s affections by Anne. First hand we see as Mary steps aside for Anne to take the family name onward and upward or so it is hoped… With the help of Mary and the brother George, we read on to see how one family manipulates themselves for what they believe is the greater good no matter what the cost.
Philippa Gregory’s characters are enchanting. I found them believable and was impressed when doing research that this story was not too far from the truth. Gregory seems to take the facts as we know them and magnificantly fills in the holes with colorful brilliant characters that held my attention through all 735 pages.
I enjoyed this book very much.