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Book Reviews
S.G. Cardin
Saturday, 18 April 2009
Book Review for "The Other Boleyn Girl"
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Book Reviews

MUSIC: Currently enjoying the "Twilight" Soundtrack, but I'm looking for new stuff.

SATELITE RADIO: Fav channels: 80's on 8, The Pulse, Classic Rewind, and 1st Wave

BOOKS: Currently reading: "Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer

MOVIES: Last one saw: Underworld III, The Rise of the Lycans

RENTALS: Sideways - which takes place in the backdrop of the Santa Barabara Wine Country in California. It's a GREAT character driven movie that was lots of fun to watch - especially for wine enthustists.

AUDIO BOOKS: Just finished THE BOLEYN INHERITENCE.  I enjoyed it very much. I loved hearing the 3 narrations of Anne of Cleaves, Jane Boleyn, and Katherine Howard. The girl reading Katherine Howard was a lot of fun. The girl reading Anne of Cleaves was very authentic. The reader for Jane Boleyn really captured the "angst" of the character.

FAN OF: Philippa Gregory. Her historical fiction is great. It wrapes you up in history and never lets go.  Here's a review:



Book Review for: “The Other Boleyn Girl”

Written by: Philippa Gregory

Touchstone Books

ISBN: 978-0-74322744-5

661 pages


5 Stars  

Gregory crafts a masterful tale of ambition, lies, deceit, and heartbreak in “The Other Boleyn Girl.” As a young girl, Mary Boleyn becomes Henry VIII’s mistress. It’s a sweet relationship, but not without its price. Mary loses her innocence as the Boleyn family travels down a path which will force the members of it to lose their souls. Gregory’s characters are rich and vivid. Her account of Henry and Anne’s relationship will keep the reader riveted to the page. Gregory starts her story in 1521. Mary Boleyn, newly married to William Carey, is fourteen, but she soon captures the king’s eye. This does not escape the notice of her family, headed by the Duke of Norfolk who conspires with the Howard and Boleyn sides to have Mary become Henry’s mistress. William Carey takes the family decision well, and soon Mary becomes Henry’s lover. Henry is initially besotted with Mary, even naming one of the royal ships after her. Young Mary falls in love as a teenage girl would fall in love with an older man. During the period Mary is Henry’s mistress, she has two children which Gregory implies was sired by the king.    

        As Mary recovers from the birth of her son in 1525, the family conspires to have Anne hold his attention until Mary can resume her duties. Anne performs her task all too well, sparking Henry’s complete fascination with her. Soon, Anne takes over Mary’s role in Henry’s life and Mary is allowed to go back to her husband.  Initially, Mary’s relationship is strained with William, but as the months go by they become reacquainted. Unfortunately, William dies of “the sweat” and Mary loses her chance at happiness.  As Anne’s star ascends in Henry’s life, Mary is all too happy to watch. Soon, she falls in love with a commoner, William Stafford. Sadly, Mary has a ringside seat to her sister’s fall from grace. Mary, however, by bucking her family’s orders and marrying for love, manages to escape the devastation brought on her family by Anne’s fall.  


Gregory tells the story in the first person from Mary’s perspective. She captures a rich voice which allows Mary to endear herself to the reader. The book is full of lush descriptions and gripping emotions proving Gregory’s done her homework. The dialogue is easy to read and doesn’t slow the reader down. “The Other Boleyn Girl” will leave the reader with a unique perspective of Anne Boleyn’s rise and fall in Tudor England. 



Posted by sgcardin at 10:40 AM
Updated: Saturday, 18 April 2009 10:42 AM
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