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“The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - Book Reading
“The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory

Back of the Book:

Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: the love of a king When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.

A rich and compelling tale of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived by following her own heart.

From Publishers Weekly:

Sisterly rivalry is the basis of this fresh, wonderfully vivid retelling of the story of Anne Boleyn. Anne, her sister Mary and their brother George are all brought to the king’s court at a young age, as players in their uncle’s plans to advance the family’s fortunes. Mary, the sweet, blond sister, wins King Henry VIII’s favor when she is barely 14 and already married to one of his courtiers. Their affair lasts several years, and she gives Henry a daughter and a son. But her dark, clever, scheming sister, Anne, insinuates herself into Henry’s graces, styling herself as his adviser and confidant. Soon she displaces Mary as his lover and begins her machinations to rid him of his wife, Katherine of Aragon. This is only the beginning of the intrigue that Gregory so handily chronicles, capturing beautifully the mingled hate and nearly incestuous love Anne, Mary and George (“kin and enemies all at once”) feel for each other and the toll their family’s ambition takes on them. Mary, the story’s narrator, is the most sympathetic of the siblings, but even she is twisted by the demands of power and status; charming George, an able plotter, finally brings disaster on his own head by falling in love with a male courtier. Anne, most tormented of all, is ruthless in her drive to become queen, and then to give Henry a male heir. Rather than settling for a picturesque rendering of court life, Gregory conveys its claustrophobic, all-consuming nature with consummate skill. In the end, Anne’s famous, tragic end is offset by Mary’s happier fate, but the self-defeating folly of the quest for power lingers longest in the reader’s mind.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Pages: 664

Published: 2001-01-01

Format Read: ebook

[xrr rating=4.0/5]

The very worst thing about this book is the inaccuracies, again. The entire series suffers from these, but they’re not too annoying unless you’re a stickler for historical details.

The very best thing about this book is the insanity! Really, this story was crazy, but it was the good crazy and I liked it. You have implications of a gay sex circle, incest, and sisters competing for one guy with their family encouraging it. Like I said, crazy.

Challenges:

This book will be placed under the 2011 E-Book Reading Challenge.

Occasionally Important Information:

"The Boleyn Inheritance" by Philippa Gregory
"The Constant Princess" by Philippa Gregory

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