Paperback, 664 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by Touchstone (first published 2001)
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The Other Boleyn Girl is the story of the rise and fall of Queen Anne Boleyn–Henry VIII’s second wife–as told through the eyes of her sister, Mary Boleyn. Mary Boleyn was only a child when her family married her off. However, a few years later when she is brought to the court of the King Henry VIII and Queen Katherine of Aragon, the Boleyn family’s ambition has another use for Mary. She has caught the eye of the King, and her family sees to it that she becomes his mistress–whether she likes it or not. They just as easily toss her aside again when the King’s interest wanes, and an attraction sparks between him and Mary’s sister Anne. The family’s conniving ambition, coupled with Anne’s own ambition, bring about a story so salacious and horrendous it could end only in the spilling of blood.
In true Philippa Gregory fashion, the story is told with precision and tact. She chronicles the lives of the Boleyn siblings as they weave their way through the most luxurious, avaricious, and lecherous court of Europe. Although I did enjoy Gregory’s telling of the story and her accuracy of her historical facts, I did not enjoy the subject matter itself very much. It’s pretty scandalous stuff. However, overall it was a good read. It’s not my favourite of Gregory’s novels, but it was still good. If you like Philippa Gregory, or historical fiction in general, I’d recommend giving this book a shot if you are interested in the Tudors.
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.