Jennifer's Reviews > The Heir

The Heir by Barbara Taylor Bradford
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's review
Jun 01, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: light-reading, library
Read in May, 2012

I was at the library over the weekend, waiting while my kids took their fill of browsing, checking out the new, post remodel amenities. I grabbed a book called The Heir off a nearby table to pass the time. Within the first two chapters, I knew that the dialogue was stilted and awkward. I knew the characters were poorly developed. I also knew that the author was attempting to create a modern day version of the story of Henry VIII with an enormous prologue. I was amused and thought I'd ride the doomed train for a while. The book was abysmally boring and stilted. The author had so many characters going, she couldn't keep track of them, nor did she know her history well enough to make a viable attempt at her story. She also felt like she had to constantly explain things that should have been obvious from context and dialogue. Another hilarious issue was her habit of killing off supporting characters, but not mentioning it until later. For example: "When his wife died two years ago..." or "their son had died of appendicitis a year to the day after the death of his brother." (By the way, the character whose brother died was not the one who died of appendicitis, that was his uncle, which leads us to the grammatical issues, but that's for another day) leaving the reader stymied as to what happened to the thread that was begun regarding the dead character. Also, I really got a kick out of the foreshadowing. I can't tell you how many times a chapter would end with an obvious construct like "she was to regret deeply later that she hadn't been more forceful with her objections." Or, "Trouble was coming that would change their lives forever..." Then 150 pages on, nothing had happened. Thankfully the book ended with the death of Anne and the advent of Jane. Mercifully, we didn't have to endure all 8 potential wives. The book had something like 375 pages detailing the "history" leading up to Henry and then we dealt with him, minus the gout, in about 80 pages. The end.
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08/26 marked as: read

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