Cathi Davis's Reviews > Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
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May 12, 12

Read from May 01 to 09, 2012

Terrific book. Even knowing the story, I read it like a page-turner, eager to see what happens next. Hilary Mantel has gotten inside the head of Thomas Cromwell and recreated the world of 16th Century England. You find yourself rooting for him, even though you know the ending. But fortunately, not for another two books. She has already started dropping hints...Cromwell, though so knowledgeable and capable in so many arenas, and despite the plummeting fortunes of many of those around him, assumes that he will have a long life and will leave his large fortune to his heirs. He is well aware that the nobility resent him because of his influence and position despite his non-noble birth. Mantel has other characters point out other opinions, for instance, that the King appears to fear Cromwell (not a good thing with this King).

Despite being told from a first person viewpoint (Cromwell's), this is not a limited book. After a few pages, I got used to the use of "he" to almost always refer to Cromwell. It actually was rather empowering, and allowed one to read the book and feel embedded in Cromwell's head. His views are yours, he is the center of the action, and sees or is told everything important that is happening. He is surrounded by interesting people, who add to our knowledge by sharing their insights and experiences with Cromwell. We know he is going to misjudge his King, and it will be interesting to see how the book reads when Cromwell is no longer the propeller of action, but the object of it.
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