The Other Boleyn Girl
by Philippa Gregory
This treasure was exactly what I hoped it would be. I've never considered myself a historical fiction lover but this story held my attention and had me doing a little research on the side. Any story about Henry VIII is interesting to me and this book delivered. It is lengthy, which is why it took me much longer than anticipated to complete it and review it, however, it was worth the length. The Other Boleyn Girl refers to Mary Boleyn. This book takes us to the beginning, when Mary is quite young (12) and is used by her family to seduce King Henry VIII. Ms. Gregory writes with astute clarity about the life Mary is forced into and how confusing her situation is because of her family's greed and her feelings of "love" for the king. It is also quite clear from the very introduction of Anne, that she is a force all her own. She is obsessive and quite arrogant for a woman of her time. The story conveys each character's role and that role's evolution, which allows the reader to piece together using actual facts, the reality of the time and it's events. I was astonished by the absolute rudeness and selfishness of Mary's entire family. And though I hated many of the characters, it was not because they were horribly written; it was quite the opposite. Ms. Gregory wrote these dreadful characters with such authority and perfect vision. I was impressed again and again with the story. I highly recommend the read, at the very least give it a listen! I'm looking forward to watching the movie now but I'm sure it will disappoint.