Henry the Eighth had six wives, divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.
He also had piles of mistresses, and zillions of bastards. No wonder everything went resoundingly to pot – succession-wise – for the Tudors.
And I know, hello, Philippa Gregory is everywhere right now and this book is all hot shit what with the movie earlier this year, dude, no one knows more than me. It is because of that that I only had a week to read it, and I have to return it ACROSS TOWN to the branch that I borrowed it from, instead of the one conveniently located blocks from my house. It is a HOT READ!!
And I hate being all, I meant to do that before it became really popular. I just, you know, forgot to get around to it until it was all up in my face. Which is kind of true, because I was at the library picking up a wickedly-icky-looking book of short stories that was on hold for me, and because I can’t just dash in and grab my holds and dash out, I browsed. And there, staring at out from the HOT READS! shelf with it’s stupid movie-poster cover (could ScarJo’s lips be any more photoshopically enhanced? I mean, I know she’s lucious, but this borders on beat-faced), was that book I meant to read after I read The Constant Princess back in 2006, and found it sort of trashily awesome.
And that, my friends, is all I have to say about The Other Boleyn Girl: sort of trashily awesome.
Because if you don’t already know that sweet-tempered Mary Bolelyn became King Henry’s mistress before her dark-eyed, ambitious sister Anne developed dreams of queendom and managed not only to inflame the king’s lust (no real accomplishment there) but to lure him into setting aside his queen (heretofore an impossibility, but hereafter something of a staple) and marrying her instead but then failed and failed to produce a male heir and in the end things went terribly pear-shaped for the whole Bolelyn Clan, including Anne’s cousin Catherine Howard (the second ‘beheaded,’ though that has nothing to do with the book and is more of an interesting aside) except for Mary, who lived happily ever after, then there’s nothing I can do for you.
So. Bawdy, scandelous, a touch repetitive and unnecessarily padded (could stand to lose a few of its 735 pages without the story being much damaged) but competent and easily engrossing if this is your sort of thing. Of which it is mine.