Nov 28, 07
those who enjoy historical fiction with harlequin overtones
Read in November, 2007
Oh, bad historical fiction, how I love thee!! I must confess that I had a hard time putting this down, much like its prequel "The Other Boleyn Girl." To be fair, the historical research is impressive, with the author using the most up-to-date resources and theories available about the reign of Henry VIII, but still...the sex scenes! The maidens! The lack of discussion of politics and historical context! Never mind, it was a great read and I'm sure I'll reread both books in a couple of years. (Hah! I was already on the author's website yesterday to see if she is writing anything about Henry VIII's last wife, Catherine Parr.)
In short, this novel tells the stories of wives 4 and 5, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. Read it after "The Other Boleyn Girl," otherwise the third main character and narrator, Jane Boleyn (Anne's sister-in-law) will not make as much sense. Henry VIII is presented as a uniformly disgusting monster in this volume, as opposed to "The Other Boleyn Girl," which seems consistent with his aging in reality. Romps, beheadings and talk of gowns abound, and the novel is thoroughly enjoyable for its genre with surprisingly few truly awful dialogues/passages. Seriously, I couldn't put it down.