Reason for Reading: After I read Nine Days a Queen, a lot of Sparklers suggested this book as an excellent portrayal of Tudor England. My mom read it several years ago, so I dug it out of her closet to give it a try.
Quote: “I had meant my promise to George. I had said that I was, before anything else, a Boleyn and a Howard through and through; but now, sitting in this shadowy room, looking out over the gray slates of the city, and up at the dark clouds leaning on the roof of Westminster Palace, I suddenly realized that George was wrong, and that my family was wrong, and that I had been wrong—for all my life. I was not a Howard before anything else. Before anything else I was a woman who was capable of passion and who had a great need and a great desire for love, I didn’t want the rewards for which Anne had surrendered her youth.”
Copyright Date: 2004
Length: 672 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating (out of 10 stars): 6 stars
Summary: When Mary Boleyn comes to court at age fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her king and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she 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.
Review: This book was… scary. Not in the “Oh, my gosh. What is that thing? It’s a monster! It’s going to eat me!” way, but in the “They did that to people? A girl younger than me had to live through all of this?” way. The whole premise of the book disgusted me. The way the court of Tudor England operated was horrifying; it was definitely not the medieval times I have grown to know and love.
But, honestly, the scariest thing about the book was that it was true. These people really lived their lives that way, and that is the startling fact of it all. The Other Boleyn Girl was an amazing portrayal of Tudor England, but that doesn’t mean I liked what I read. The book was well written an informative, it just creeped me out.
Recommendation: First things first, this book is rated R. So, younger Sparklers, please wait a few years before giving The Other Boleyn Girl a go. For our older Sparklers, it’s definitely a “read at your own risk” book. I liked the history, but not the storyline, so if you’re a history buff, you might just want to give it a try.
We loved the movie, but we’ve never read the book. Have you guys checked it out?