Friday, November 5, 2010

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Book Details
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Hardcover, 672 Pages
2004, Touchstone
ISBN: 0743269837


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.

I don't read a lot of historical fiction. To me, the past usually equals boring. The Other Boleyn Girl was far from boring. In fact, it was amazing. The story contained so much sex, scandal, deception, and rivalry, it was shocking and deeply entertaining.

I saw the movie adaption years ago, and after reading the book, it's clear the movie was perfectly cast. Obviously, the book went much deeper into the story. The book was long (over 600 pages) and I loved every single page of it. I could not put it down and spent a few mornings bone tired due to "just a few more pages" that found me awake and reading hours after I meant to go to sleep.

So much happens in The Other Boleyn Girl. The story really only spans about fifteen years, but it has a epic feel. The rivalry between Anne and Mary goes well beyond the average sibling rivalry. King Henry is a tool. I believe it's historically documented that he was the epitome of an spoiled, overgrown child, but seeing him in action, so to speak, makes me wonder how he survived so long without being poisoned.

The queen fights for her man in a peculiar way, leaving the reader to wonder why she ever thought that would work. George, brother to Mary and Anne, brings about a very interesting and surprising look at court. And the rest of the Boleyn family, and their involvement in younger generation's lives - especially their sex lives - reeks of sleaze and conniving. Actions and events so shocking, yet thoroughly realistic, make The Other Boleyn Girl very memorable.

There are multiple romances in The Other Boleyn Girl, each markedly different from the next. These relationship do well to show how love, and lust, can vary greatly between couples. More than anything else, The Other Boleyn Girl is about the lengths a woman would go to to become and remain queen. No line remained uncrossed in The Other Boleyn Girl and I found it to be juicer than any modern tabloid.


Philippa Gregory's

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