Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

My sister Megan gave this to me to read forever ago, and I finally did. And I stayed up WAY too late two nights in a row. That is just tempting fate with Miriam and Cowen still in the same room and the general state of sleep deprivation in the house. However, it was a hard one to put down.

Good points: the story was extremely well-researched (a major factor in historical fiction) and extremely well-written. The characters very much came alive. The only thing I knew about Ann Boleyn came from watching the movie "Ann of a Thousand Days" which made me cry at the end watching little Elizabeth walking in the gardens while her mother was beheaded. However, the book made everything much more realistically complex and there was no "good guy" or "bad guy." Although if there was a bad guy--I'd say it was Ann. Maybe. Like I said, the author did a great job of putting in shades and gray areas and complexities--just like real life. Very believable writing.

Bad points: it was very, very bawdy. Lots of references to sex, without actual graphic sex like you find in Harlequin Desires. For example, the one sister who had had a four or five year affair with Henry spends a few paragraphs giving her sister tips on what pleases the king in bed. The author doesn't romanticize it, so it seems very bald and in your face. Also, and this is what I liked least, the Boleyn brother was homosexual. While it never went into details of any sort--I still really hate that.

Overall--I would be careful picking up that author again but I am definitely going to read the ones my sister Megan recommended that she said were much cleaner.

1 comment:

Juwmama said...

Have you seen the movie with Natalie Portman? (I think that's who it is.) Anyway, I thought it was actually a very fabulous movie, myself. After reading the book though, I'm sure you won't find it nearly as fascinating. :-)