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Group Read Discussions > Disussions on The Other Boleyn Girl

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10125 comments Mod
Ok. It may be a bit early, but I thought I would get the thread started for those of you who may have already started this book. PLease be careful.. if you are planning on discussing something that may be spoilerish, please make of note of it in the begining of the post. And it may not be a bad idea to also note what chapter or page you are on...

Happy reading and Discussing!

message 2: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Have far along is everyone? I started the book yesterday evening and am on page 137.

message 3: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I'll probably start reading it tonight...I can't wait!!

message 4: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Now I am on page 256.

I have to say that most of the characters disgust me. I can't imagine having to live back then.

I did a little background on Wikipedia about the Boleyn family and Henry VIII because I was unfamiliar with their history. What a piece of work Henry was!

message 5: by Mandy (new)

Mandy I'll start reading this one on the weekend hopefully - my first group read, I'm excited!!

message 6: by Marsha (new)

Marsha I read this last year, then read the rest of Phillippa Gregory's work. Very interesting/entertaining reads... all.

message 7: by Salma (new)

Salma I have a question about her work- and I guess, historical fiction in general. Does she make up a lot of (or even some) of the events in the books? Or is everything solely based on facts? If so, I'm nauseated at the stuff that went on in Henry's court.

message 8: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) I'm still waiting on my copy from the library. *sigh* I hope to have it by April so that I can participate. :-)

message 9: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) Salma - as much as possible is based on fact, or from her research about each of the characters to come up with their personalities and how they might react in situations.

I'm about 30 pages in...and I'm trying to figure out who the heck Bessie Blount is. I read The Constant Princess before this, but it skipped over about 20 years at the this is picking up somewhere in the midst of those missing years in the book. I guess the nice thing about that is that I'll finally get to read about Katharine of Aragon's death (maybe?).

message 10: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments I recently read The Other Boleyn Girl, and although it took me a while to get into, I found that I couldn't put it down.

In response to the last post - we never really find out much about Bessie to be honest, she remains a woman of mystery lol

message 11: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I figured so - all I've gleaned is that Henry had an affair with her (Bessie) and they produced a son, which is something Katharine was never able to give him - an heir to the throne.

I can't wait until bedtime so I can read some! I love this genre of books...and am especially intrigued by the Tudor line.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) sigh. neither library had neither book (this or neverwhere) and i'm sick again, so i think i'm down for the count on this!

message 13: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Can you imagine living in a country ruled by someone like Henry? Especially if you had to participate in the court like the main characters do? I simply cannot fathom living like that.

Can you imagine being Mary? And having a sister like Anne?

The more I read, the more I despise Henry. It makes it worse for me that this is based on a real man. Ugh!

...Now on page 361...

message 14: by Allison (new)

Allison Giese (allisongiese) | 1 comments I read the entire book in just a few days because it was so thrilling. I would hate to be one of his wives...divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. I think that is how it goes. I read all of Gregory's books about Henry's wives and the Other Boleyn Girl is definitely the best, though the others are worth reading!

I felt sorry for Mary, but I think she ends up living a better life than Anne.

message 15: by Mandy (new)

Mandy I'm up to page 113 and I love it, I've gotten completely lost in it. I haven't read many historic books but the ones I have I do enjoy so I best be getting myself some more!!

message 16: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) I finished it last night. What an amazing story... and not necessarily in a good way for the people in it.

My favorite character was William Stafford. What an incredible man. I also loved Mary and Katherine of Aragon.

message 17: by KHoopMan (new)

KHoopMan  (eliza_morgan) | 151 comments I had a hard time deciding whether to read this or Neverwhere first- and I'm so glad I chose The Other Boleyn Girl! I picked this up today and have not been able to put it down. I'm so mad that I have to work all week, it really gets in the way of a good story.

I love the dynamic between Mary and Anne. I have a sister who is close in age, and I have to admit that there has always been some unspoken (very subtle) rivalry- so that really draws me into this story!

message 18: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Oh Eliza, I feel your pain about having to work, I too want to just sit down and read this book but unfortunately those damn bills need to be paid!! Whilst I'm working all day I just can't wait to finish so I can then quickly do some housework, cook dinner and hopefully get in a bit of reading.

message 19: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I don't know why, I just can't seem to get very far into this book, and I'm completely enthralled with the characters and setting, lol. I've been reading it for 5 days and am only 92 pages in...I've got to take it back to the library tomorrow! LOL! I think I'll be paying some MEGA overdue fees on this one (I can't renew it because it's on hold for someone else after me).

message 20: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments Hi Bree, stick with it! It took me a while to get into it too, but then something just clicked and I couldn't put it down!!

message 21: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I'm definitely not going to give up on this book. I am returning it tonight and will just buy it in paperback - cheaper than trying to keep it out past it's due date, lol! Also, this way I can take it with me on my trip instead of feeling guilty for taking a borrowed library book. :)

message 22: by Mandy (new)

Mandy I'm up to page 250, not much time to read this week :-(

However, yesterday, I'm so excited, I bought the first season of The Tudors, it's about Henry VIII and focuses on the early years of his reign. His affair with Anne and his obsession with having a son is all in there. I can't wait to watch this but I had better finish the book first.

message 23: by KHoopMan (new)

KHoopMan  (eliza_morgan) | 151 comments **POTENTIAL SPOILERS**
I just finished this book (the weekends are my only time to read) and I loved every single page. I don't have children, but I am intrigued by how much Mary changed after the birth of her children. Her priorities completely shifted. Anyway, I plan to research some of the historical details because I am in awe of these people (not in a good way).

Was anyone else completely satisfied by Anne's ultimate fate??

message 24: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments ***SPOILERS***

I read this book before joining the group, and so have eagerly been waiting for someone to finish!!! Yes I was so pleased with Anne's fate, after the way she treated everyone around her, especially her sister, she completely deserved it!! Claiming her sister's child as her own and then refusing to ler Mary see him is just terrible. Not to mention the innocent people she killed along the way!

message 25: by Mandy (new)

Mandy ***SPOILERS***

I stayed up late last night to finish this book. I loved it all the way through, just felt like I was on an interesting journey. I cannot believe the games they played back then and how desperate people were to get what they wanted at any cost. I am glad it all worked out for Mary.

As to the satisfaction of Anne's ultimate fate, I was a bit torn, of course she deserved what she got but I can't help but think her determination to rise the highest she could rise was inbred into her by her family. These were times when families needed to rise to stay alive and if you did not rise far enough the family would easily move on to another family member, it's just horrible to think about. The one and only "family member" that remained a constant was the king and you were to serve him over and above your family.

So back to Anne, she was a horrid girl and woman, one that is easy to hate but I think her mind was most definitely twisted, she set her sights on what she wanted and lost along the way that she was playing with people's lives. She does disgust me.

Looking forward to everyone's comments.

message 26: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Hi everyone!!

How is everyone going with this book? Seems no one has commented for a while, perhaps there weren't as many who read this book?

message 27: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Hi Mandy... I've been done with it for quite awhile.

Did you finish it?

message 28: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Hi Theresa,

Yep all finished and enjoyed very much. Have you read any other books by her?

message 29: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) No, but I would like to read The Constant Princess. It will be awhile though because I have so many other books ahead of it to read! ;)

message 30: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Gregory did change at least one thing: in the book Mary is younger than Anne but in reality Mary was the older sister.

message 31: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments I had a look on Gregory's site yesterday, and she's put stuff on there about her research. The Boleyns were not royal children and therefore were not important enough at that time to have their births recorded, so nobody knows for sure when they were born. Most books apparantly go with the order of (oldest) Anne, Mary, George...

message 32: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I'm still reading it. I decided to pick up the paperback since I couldn't borrow it from the library again, and took it with me on our trip to California. Unfortunately, my days were SO busy at the parks that by evening I was exhausted and would drop the book within minutes of starting to read. I'm getting closer to the end of it, though!

message 33: by Sloane (new)

Sloane (nycdesigner) | 6 comments hey everyone.

Just started reading the book this morning. I did Neverwhere first and then had another book to finish, but I plan on finishing the other boleyn girl before May's read.

Okay, so I have to admit, knowing that a movie just came out about the book (even though I havent seen it), kind of ruins the whole imagery to me. I keep imagining Mary as Scarlett and I know that its just kind of wrong, because Mary is 14 in the book.

Only 30 pages in though. It honestly reminds me of a soap opera already. But I am enjoying it and reading it fast

message 34: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I finished this book a couple nights ago, and I have to say that even though it's slow going, it's an amazing read. I can't wait to see the movie now.

Sloane, I hear you...I kept imagining the girls as Scarlett/Natalie too, it was very weird, lol!


I had read The Constant Princess and even in that book I didn't like how self-indulgent King Henry was, and amazingly, with the help of the Boleyns, he managed to become worse!

I liked Mary and I liked George...I didn't think Anne deserved what she had coming to her, but at the same time, she deserved some of it, even if much of it was false accusations (or from what we know, anyway). Anne's change of attitude once she had the King in her grasp was really grating to me and I just wanted to give her a good shake and knock some sense into her...she was just as self-centered as the King!

The Boleyn/Howard family made me insane at how they were always pushing and competing for the Kings attention, but as soon as anything went awry, they allowed their children (who I think were all in their 20's still at the time?) to try to make it on their own...what kind of family does that?! Although by the end you see that the Seymour family is no better.

message 35: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (rivera_bookjunkie) Ok so I just finished the book 'cause I was on the "hold" list at the library for so long. WOW!


I don't think that I would have survived King Henry's court. It was disgusting how the family just threw their daughters at the King like that. And then, when things got tough left their OWN children to die. OMG! Incredible.

And I was sooo hurt when Anne took Mary's son away from her. And I really felt for Mary. She really couldn't do anything.

I really liked that she did end up having her little house on a farm though. That was sweet and I believe that she deserved a bit of happiness for the SICK life that her family made her live.

Ok... that's all.

message 36: by Rachael (new)

Rachael I read this book this past winter. It's now one of my favorites. I know have an obsession with the Tudors. I lent my copy to a few coworkers because I just had to share the love! I just couldn't stand Anne and Henry! I would not want to live in that court!

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments As a work of historical fiction I enjoyed it, but it's not the most accurate history. Although Henry does indeed seem to have been a piece of work!

I've read several other of Gregory's novels. My favorite is the sequel to The Other Boleyn Girl - The Boleyn Inheritance.

message 38: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments I'd like to read more of Gregory's novels at some point - problem is, I don't know when - my to read pile is already too big, lol. If I do read more tho, I'll probably start with the first book historically - The Constant Princess.

message 39: by Rachel (last edited Jul 16, 2008 10:42AM) (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) I really enjoyed this book, especially as I had studied nearly the same period in History class the year earlier (except from the Scottish point of view, but I could see where the English events linked in with the timeline of the Scottish Reformation). I also used to own a Horrible Histories book on Henry VIII, so it was interesting to read about all of the people I'd read about in history books as a child.

I have a tendeny to get sucked into books which are "historical fiction," and get disappointed when I find out that the author exaggerated facts. I got wrapped up in these characters and was looking them up on Wikipedia to find out what happened to them!

I picked up another of Gregory's books today in a used book shop (The Queen's Fool, I think) and was a little put off when, while flicking through it, it seemed to skip right to a sex scene on the second page? I know there were some smutty scenes in The Other Boleyn Girl, but we were at least far enough into the plot that it made sense in the context of the novel. Sex scenes on the second page just put me off reading a book. I'd like some plot and character development first, please!

message 40: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hickman (bkread2) Last October on a flight from Tulsa, OK and a layover in Newark I actually read The Other Boleyn Girl I litterally could not put it down. I was so desperate for more that at the airport bookshop (not even close to being affordable) I bought three others from that series. I read a bit every day and night while touring England. I read them on the train and waiting for connections, etc. I even read a bit at Warwick Castle in Warwick where their are portraits of both Boleyn women and Henry VIII in one of the bedrooms while having a picnic awaiting the trebuche and longbow demonstrations. Very nice atmosphere...I was probably even more into to the books because of where I was reading them! But they are well worth the time reading them! I was disappointed in the movie...I felt it was missing so much from the books!

message 41: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy | 135 comments Wow, Leslie! I'm jealous! What a great experience! I'm planning to watch the movie before I read the book. I always find a movie disappointing if I read the book first. I think it's because I have what my mom would call a "vivid imagination". It's much better than a movie! :)

message 42: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments Bluedaizy - Please let me know what you think after watching the movie. I read the book first and then saw the movie and like Leslie, did not like the movie at all. I wish I could have watched it with fresh eyes but I just kept getting mad. I'd be really interested in knowing what people think who have not read the book first.

message 43: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) I watched the movie over the weekend and was very disappointed. It felt very disjointed and there was no feeling of how much time was passing between scenes.

message 44: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy | 135 comments I watched it last night. I took a couple of tylenol pm before I started the movie in the hopes of falling asleep early. It didn't happen. I was awake for the whole thing. I agree with Theresa in that the movie was a bit disjointed. I also watched the deleted and extended scences after the movie and it made a lot more sense to me. I think they cut too much from the movie.

However, I liked it! Beautiful scenery, beautiful costumes. What's not to like? I thought Anne and Mary were complex characters. I would have liked to see more character development overall, but I'm sure the powers that be were thinking about time constraints hence all the ugly editing. But I'm really interested in watching the movies with Cate Blanchett now, Elizabeth, because of this movie. I think I'll read this book first.

message 45: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments That confirms what I felt about the movie. Elizabeth is a brilliant movie. I've only seen the first but it deserves all of the attention it received.

message 46: by Sera (new)

Sera Out of the many historical fiction authors who write about the Tudors, Phillipa Gregory is actually one of the least accurate. For those of you who have developed an interest in this area, Jean Plaidy has written an excellent series about Henry VIII and each of his wives. Her books are much shorter than Gregory's, but filled with more historical accuracy and less bawdiness. Allison Weir, Carolyn Erickson and Antonia Frasier are three other authors who have written excellent novels on Henry and his wives.

I'm new to the group so still catching up on all of the posts, but I have to say that reading this thread has inspired me to pick up one of the books from off my shelves to read that I haven't had a chance to yet.

The more that I get into this book club, the more that I am really enjoying it :)

message 47: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy | 135 comments I was just googling Jean Plaidy, because I was thinking one of her pen names was Philipa, and it is, but it's Carr not Gregory. I have read some Jean Plaidy but not in the past 20 years. (OMG I feel old saying that) Which book of hers do you recommend?

message 48: by Tisha (new)

Tisha Thank you for the Jean Plaidy tip. I love the Tudor era and am excited about more books to read.

message 49: by Sera (new)

Sera Bluedaizy (love that name by the way), I would recommend Katherine of Aragon. Technically, it's the start of her Henry VIII series. Plaidy initially wrote three books on Katherine, but you can get them combined into one novel, which is a nice way to read it. The second book in the series is about Anne Boleyn, but I read this one first, and then went back to Katherine's story. The books overlap a bit so the reader doesn't necessarily have to go in order. Plaidy then has a book about each one of Henry's wives, which I haven't read all of yet.

Mary Queen of France is also a good novel about Henry's sister, and An Innocent Traitor by Allison Weir is one of my favorite Tudor books, because it shows what happens as Henry comes to end of his life and how a young, pious girl, Lady Jane Grey gets caught up into the battle of the throne by her family. It's a truly, tragic tale that sets the stage for Mary's and then Elizabeth's (Henry's daughters) reign of England.

When you have had a chance to read some Tudor historical fiction, let me know who you read and how you liked it :)

message 50: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) I thought this one was so good that I've just finished another Phillippa Gregory - "The Constant Princess" about Katherine of Aragon - and will probably continue the "story" with more by this author. So glad I read the book first - I would have been lost if I had seen the movie first; so much was left out!

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