Mar 05, 08
people in need of brain candy
Read in November, 2007
I will review this festering mound of shhh....surely quality literature, although I doubt I have anything to say about it that hasn't already been said.
"Historical controvery" aside- I mean, *whatever,* Gregory totally went to the Dan Brown place, and as someone who's interested in history, I don't entirely appreciate it, but I think we intelligent people all know that this is fiction, despite what Gregory seems to be saying in the "Author's Q & A" thingy at the back of my copy.
This is the story of Anne Boleyn's rise to power, her reign as Queen of England, and her eventual execution, told through the eyes of her sister and fellow courtier, Mary. As a young girl, Mary becomes the mistress of Henry VIII, has two children with him, and is eventually supplanted by Anne.
And hoo boy, is this some fiction. I mean, it was kinda *fun.* It was light and frothy, and not really much of a substantial meal. Gregory gravitated towards one of the more sensational theories about Anne Boleyn and her whole deal, and she really, really ran with it. I felt that many of her narrative choices were made for shock value when she could have spent a little more time developing the characters and motivations of Mary and Anne. Come on, Anne Boleyn was at least an *interesting historical figure!* Here, she's reduced to a scheming witch or a shrieking harridan- pretty much at all times. And Gregory tries to browbeat us into thinking that Mary's making all of these "Empowered Woman!!" decisions, when, truth be told, she lies pretty flat on the page.
Ms. Gregory, honestly, you threw in the gay thing, and the secret midnight birth of witchcraft babies thing, and the saying "whore" a lot thing, and on top of all of that "isn't it just so shocking!" cake batter, you give me the icing of... a milquetoast heroine. Huzzah.
Hell, it's a light, quick read, despite its size, and I enjoyed on the "eh, sometimes I like to read trash" level, so I have to give it two stars, but I feel kinda dirty.