Michelle's Reviews > The Boleyn Inheritance

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
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's review
Mar 02, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: chick-lit
Recommended for: women who in the future will be that sort of crumbly old Harlequin Romance reader
Read in April, 2008

Hmm...do I recommend The Boleyn Inheritance?


Here's why:

1. It makes me acutely aware that if I enjoyed this series of Phillipa Gregory books in my youth, that when I get crumbly (read: old), I'll probably end up enjoying Harlequin Romance novels.

2. In The Boleyn Inheritance, as with The Other Boleyn Girl, Ms. Gregory writes with such myopic vision that I wanted to scream from the claustrophobic feeling. She writes around in circles, covering the same topic repeatedly with only slight variation. Granted, that is perhaps the entire feel of living at court in King Henry VIII's time, and so she's reconstructing the aura through her writing style. The only redemption for it, though, was her use of three perspectives. In TOBG, we only got to see Mary's view with editorializing, so this new usage of three narrators was the only fresh air readers get.

3. If you are my mother-in-law or my grandmother, stop reading here.

Okay, now that it's just us frivolous girls, this novel is full of intrigue, backstabbing, political gaming, greed, beheading. All of which make the perfect plot. And then there's the s-e-x. Lots of s-e-x. Ugh. It churns my stomach, quite honestly, how incredibly detailed they get, how up close and personal they get with a topic that should, imo, be only personal/private. I'm not a prude...obviously, since I finished reading it when I should have set it aside. I know, I know, it's historical fiction, and King Henry VIII was really flatulent, had a huge, open, stinking, puss-oozing wound and was impotent to boot. I get it. Really, I get it. Ms. Gregory kept hitting me in the face with it all, though, and eventually I got fed up.

So, three reasons I won't recommend this to anyone. And yet, I can't help imagining that if a friend told me she read it, I'd probably grin and say, "Is it good for you?"

It did wrap up nicely the loose ends she left in TOBG, like Jane's (George's wife) betrayal being totally bogus. I enjoyed seeing her get her just desserts.

Now, on the other hand, if Ms. Gregory chooses to novelize Princess/Queen Mary's and Queen Elizabeth's reign, I might run headlong into those. If I remember correctly, there was NO sex there.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Steffi just wondering. you wouldn't recommend it but you still gave it 4 stars. Does that mean that you still enjoyed it? Kind of a guilty pleasure? :D

Michelle Precisely. :)

Erica Okane Philippa Gregory DID novelize Princess/Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The Queens Fool depicts Mary from a fictional royal fools point of view. It also touches on Elizabeth since she was closely tied in with Marys reign. The Virgins Lover is about Elizabeth and the Robert Dudley/ Amy Robsart controversy. There isnt much sex in The Queens Fool if I remember correctly. There is a little, but nothing graphic like in Inheritance. In The Virgins Lover there is sex, as the title would suggest. It expresses the opinion of many historians that Elizabeth may not have actually been a virgin, since she had many male friends and the circumstances around the death of Amy Robsart were extremely suspicious. But nothing gross like oozeing puss and flatulance.

message 4: by Matthew (new) - added it

Matthew Try "The Red Queen" if you're looking for something less smutty. I thought that book was awful because the main character is a whack job who thinks her every move is God's will and so on. You might like it though.

Xenia I don't think there was a lot of sex at all. There were descriptions of Catherine's relations with Henry but I've always felt they were important to Catherine's story and why she would stray.

Elenka You rated it with 4 stars and you do not recommend it? Not sure that I understand your point.

Kristen Elise Hmm. I'm halfway through and have only encountered one sex scene...or rather, a lack of sex scene in which Henry tried but failed. I'm not into sex scenes in books either, but I did feel that this one was necessary as Henry's impotence with Anne was one of the defining features of their marriage that changed the course of history.

Rachel You actually thought the sex in it was too much? LOL you're very sheltered. Harlequin romances would probably be too racy for you, then...they have heaving bosoms and throbbing manhoods! stick with Dr. Seuss.

Scribblegirl @Rachel - You really don't need to be snotty.

message 10: by Jenn (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jenn Good review... I've just bought this book, so will look forward to Henry's flatulence and oozing pus!

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