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Mayflowers for November: The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A novel depicting Anne Boleyn's dramatic downfall through the eyes of a servant in the court of Henry the Eighth.

Avis Grinnel’s life is forever changed when a young musician arrives unexpectedly to escort her to the innermost sanctum of King Henry VIII’s royal court.

However, it is not the king who has demanded her presence but his new queen, the much-disliked Anne Boley
Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published February 29th 2016 by Endeavour Press
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  298 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book from Endeavor Press.

If the writers of Lost and Once Upon a Time decided to write their version of Anne Boleyn, it might have looked like this.

There aren’t any polar bears, but there is a lot of flashbacks with a lot of mystery slowly, slowly revealed as the story cuts back and forth between the 1530’s and 1550’s. Despite knowing the character will live until at least 1558, there are enough hints dropped here and there to know that some very
Aug 07, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebies
💝FREE on Amazon today (8/7/2018)!💝
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it

In London 1558, when a baker Avis and her servant White Boy sit down to rest over ale, White Boy asks Avis to tell him her story. Her story is tied up with the story of the court of King Henry VIII.

When Avis begins her story, it is 1533 and Avis is a garden maid at Greenwich Palace. Her mother helps make sweet foods in the confectionary and her father makes bread in the bake house. But on this day that she begins to tell her story, Master Smeaton, a musician and member of the royal household tak
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was a very pleasant read that I think any lover of historical fiction will find enjoyable. The addition of the fictional Avis lent the well-known story of the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn a nice freshness without seeming forced. The story was well paced and the characters and environment felt believable and historically accurate enough for a work of fiction. The only reason this didn't get 4 stars (it was a 3.75 for me until the end) was that I thought there was far too much exposition at t ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Mayflowers for November by Malyn Bromfield is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early March, not long before an upcoming road trip. Having known the Anne Bolelyn portion of King Henry VIII's reign nearly by rote, I wanted to see how this rendition would compare to other similar historical fictions.

This first-person tale through time indicates its placement by having italics represent the present day and 'normal font' being Avis' memories from her place at court. It's very pleasant, yet a lit
Susan Leona Fisher
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
We hear the story of Anne Boleyn through the memories of Avis, daughter of the royal household’s baker, as she relates it to White Boy, her blind servant, and recalls her time as a servant in Queen Anne’s household. It is atmospheric in the telling, with beautiful use of language and the sense of a carefully researched authentic setting. The time shifts between past and present are woven effectively into the structure. A very impressive first novel.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-reads
A period of unrest is consuming England. Henry VIII has broken from the Pope and the Catholic church, divorced Katherine of Aragon and married his pregnant mistress Anne Boleyn in the hopes that he will father a son and heir. Avis, a confectioner's daughter and midwife's apprentice is sent for by the new Queen as it is rumoured that she has the ability to predict the sex of a baby during the mother's pregnancy. This is how our narrator ascends to an elevated position within the Tudor Court and g ...more
Karen Laird
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Mayflowers for November by Marilyn Bromfield was a historical novel that rose to the occasion. It provided a glimpse into King Henry VIII's Court from a unique and very interesting perspective. Though the story wove around the court and the intrigue that went on particularly with the Boleyn family, that was just one of the fascinating storylines that wove through the book.
This story did not center around the king and his wives. It centered around one of the servant girls and was told from the v
Carolyn G. Ronca
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enchanting, captivating!

I have read so many books about King Henry's court, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read another one. But the reviews were so high I thought I would give it a try and if I didn't like it I would just return it. I am so glad to have chosen the book, it was written from a completely different angle from any of the other books I have read and it really held my interest. I can honestly say it's worth five stars.
The Wordsworm
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was gripped from the beginning, sucked in before the end of the first few pages.

"Only much later did I realise that if something is supposed to be a secret you have to pretend it isn't there."
Oh my, and aren't there a lot of secrets to be kept in the court of Henry VIII...

To see the story of Anne Boleyn unfold in the eyes of a working-class person, especially someone young enough to still be figuring out their place in the world, feels like a fresh pair of eyes on a much-told story. Avis grows
Stephanie Tracy
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a cleverly-written novel about the reign and downfall of Anne Boleyn, told through the eyes of a fictional character, Avis Grinnel. I always like when authors incorporate an unknown (or made up) character into their work, because it gives an often too-well-known story a different flavor. That was certainly the case with this book. Avis, a kitchen maid with the special gift to predict the gender of an unborn baby, is obviously quite useful to Henry VIII's new queen, whose value lies almo ...more
Daphne Sharpe
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
The familiar story of Anne Boleyn as told from the perspective of Avis who works in the kitchen garden of Greenwich Palace. Avis has the gift of foretelling the sex of an unborn child and this brings her to the notice of the very anxious Queen Anne Boleyn. Avis predicts a healthy child without mentioning the gender and later is rewarded for her honesty and discretion by a place at court, and throughout the turbulent times ahead, is loyal and honest to the cause of the Queen.
A good read on a dif
Suzie Groers
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I read any medieval fiction so this was a bit of a treat to get into. The main character, Avis, leads through the story, from her humble beginnings where it is discovered that she has the sight and can predict the sex of an unborn child. Anne Boleyn discovers this and calls Avis to her to predict whether she is carrying the much wanted male child. When Avis predicts a daughter she is told that she will be rewarded with a better position at court if her prediction is true. ...more
Mr Robin Smith
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful story set against a background of Tudor England during the reign of Henry VIII, at the time of his marriage to his second wife Anne Boleyn; it follows the progress of Avis, a young girl, who rises from tending the King’s kitchen garden to becoming a confidant to the new Queen, due to her apparent ability to foretell the sex of a yet to be born child. It weaves the goings-on at Henry’s court with the every-day lives of lowly servants and their families and explores the devel ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC via NetGalley from Endeavor Press for this review and am glad that I was given that opportunity .

I very much enjoyed this unique but basically plausible tale of Anne Boleyn's story. Midwives were often felt to have a sixth sense I think, definitely about gestation, so nothing unusual about Avis' visions. The different "voices" the story was told in I think worked well, although took a bit of getting used to. I am not sure it might not have worked just as well to know that her h
Nolene Driscoll
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

This is a refreshing change on the the stories about Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn in that it is viewed from a young girl working in the household of Ann Boleyn and who is sympathetic to her.

It was lovely and fascinating to read about the clothes and customs of the times and the different jobs people held within households at the time.

It also held a bit of a mystery, who is and what happened to Tom, the rat catcher?

I believe
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mayflowers for November tells the story Anne Boleyn’s dramatic downfall through the eyes of the servant Avis Grinnel. Intrigue, deceit, and extravagant misdeeds are but a few of the perils that Avis must navigate in the court of Henry the Eighth…

A joy to read!
The attention to detail made this book for me, factual and relevant to the story without being dull and the way in which the story was told through different class perspective’s was clever and well thought out. Written with flair, feeling
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
At the start of this book, I had to get used to the language, which was a little old-fashioned. However, I soon did not even notice this anymore, since I became so much engrossed in the life of Avis and the things she saw and - mostly - heard at the royal Tudor-court.

Anne Boleyn's is a wonderful and sad-ending story, this time told from the eyes of a servant. I loved Bromfield's style of writing, and the point of view that was given.

I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an hones
Polly Krize
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The short, tragic life of Ann Boleyn is told through the eyes of Avis, a weeding maid/hand maiden to the court of Henry VIII. Avis finds herself to be a strong, reliable woman finding her way through the religious changes wrought by King Henry, as well as court intrigue. Her own story is told, as well as following Queen Ann's downfall. A refreshing take on this much covered subject. Recommended.
Patricia Moren
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A story set in one of my favourite periods in history. I enjoyed the ways in which the characters were presented and the believable settings in which they were placed. There was a series recently on television called Wolf Hall which was the same point in time but from Cromwells' perspective. So the time setting was already vivid in my mind and made the story even more real. A thoroughly enjoyable historical novel
David Sanders
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is told from the point of view of one of her servants. The characters are many and impossible to distinguish. Some are based on real people but most are not. It is disappointing in many ways but especially in its lack of any detail or background of the history on which it is supposedly based.
Mrs S Ruck
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

An excellent read from start to finish. I couldn't put this down. Excellent descriptive writing brings the tudor court to life and the story of Anne Boleyn becomes so real and vivid. This entwined with the story of a young woman in an ordinary life forced to witness extraordinary events.
Beautifulday4makeup The-book-and-Me
I received the ebook in exchange for an honest review. The story tells about Avis. Avis tells her servant about her live as a servant years ago at the court of Anna Boleyn. I was always intrigued by the wives of Henry VIII. It was a very interesting way to follow her life through the eyes of a servant. It was a quick paced, beautifully written book and I loved reading it.
Alison Smith
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So good I didn't want it to end!!

I really enjoyed this interpretation of this well known period of history. Couldn't put this book down! Definitely worth a read.
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reviewing this book that I received for free from netgalley.
This is the first book of this genre that I have read but having a keen interest in the tudors I must
say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! Would definitely recommend and will be looking for similar books.
Victoria Frow
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good. Overall it was a good story but in places it waned off a bit and I had a hard time in following it. The mixture of flashbacks and the time it was set in may have contributed to it. Enjoyable. Thank you to net galley for the proof copy.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Having read numerous books fiction and non-fiction on Anne Boleyn I enjoyed this one as if I had known nothing. Cleverly done with lots of atmosphere and fun characters.
Roger Scott
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A joy to read

A very moving and vivid account of Anne Boleyn days as queen as observed through the eyes of a servant highly recommend this book

jean murray
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very descriptive

Caught my imagination from the start. So glad I've found another author who helps me get lost in a story from history .
Charlotte Huffington-Shinn
Enjoyable but not entirely engaging.

I did not feel immersed in the Tudor court; rather on the edge of it as is the book's heroine.
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