The Other Boleyn Girl Book Review
Mary Boleyn catches the eye of Henry VIII when she comes to court as a girl of fourteen. Dazzled by the golden prince, Mary’s joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in the dynastic plots of her family. When the capricious king’s interest wanes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister Anne. Anne soon becomes irresistible to Henry, and Mary can do nothing but watch her sister’s rise. Anne stops at nothing to achieve her own ambition. From now on, Mary will be no more than the other Boleyn girl. But beyond the court is a man who dares to challenge the power of her family to offer Mary a life of freedom and passion. If only she has the courage to break away – before the Boleyn enemies turn on the Boleyn girls…
The Other Boleyn Girl has been on my reading list for a while and although I’m glad to have read it I can say that it didn’t inspire me to read any more of Philippa Gregory’s work. The book was slow-moving although she did keep my interest even if it did drift at points.
I think my biggest complaint of the book was Mary. Even though we followed the story from her point of view there were times where I wanted reach into the book and slap her. She is a naive character, but there were just times where her naivety was over done and it felt as if Gregory was insulting the reader’s intelligence. There were scenes where what was happening was so spelled out that it was beyond obvious what was happening. However poor, dumb Mary had to have it simplified for her even more. It really dragged out things that didn’t need to be further explained. Then there were other times when words from the period were used that I had to google to understand what was happening or what people were being accused of. This when Mary’s ignorance would have been needed.
It was in the last 40 or so pages of the story that I couldn’t put it down. Even though history tells us what is about to happen the transporting and her brother to the Tower of london while Mary was on the run kept me on the edge of my seat.
Gregory also has a gift to make you hate characters and with a family like Mary’s who needs enemies? The twisted relationship with her siblings and her family make the book come to life.
As I said before it was a fun read, but if the world ended tomorrow it is not a book that I would have regretted not reading.