Friday, October 9, 2009


The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I read this book a few years ago, but it still remains my favourite of Gregory's novels.  I remember when I sat down to read it, I was literally flipping the pages like a crazy person and basically did nothing for 3 whole days while I inhaled the thing.  (much to my husbands extreme eye-rolling) 

The summary:  (from the jacket)

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII.  Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen.  However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival:  her sister Anne.  Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands. 

"The Other Boleyn Girl" reads like a movie script, so it's really not all that surprising that a couple of years ago the movie, in fact, came out.  I have to admit, I never did go see it.  The book was such a great and fast read that I thought the movie may not do it justice.  I felt a lot of sympathy for Mary in the beginning, and grew to loathe Anne. Mary is powerless against the mammoth greed her family has to gain power and riches from the King, and she desperately tries to please the king in every way.  And as we begin to realize that the king's affections are turning to Anne, we see Mary wilt and then rise to the occasion as Anne's scheming partner to gain her the crown.   And then there's George.  He provides some levity in the book, but he is not without his faults.  And the three of them form Team Anne as they do everything they can to keep Anne from going insane with her antics of trying to stay in the King's favour and eventually become his queen. They also form a trio that eventually hides a deadly secret. 

Having very little knowledge of King Henry VIII's history, I was rivetted by the story.  Oh, I knew the basics, like he had gone through a few wives, and had a pattern of doing away with them in a brutal way, but not the rich and lavish details of the court and the politics of the time.  I mentioned a couple of days ago that the mark of a good historical fiction novel is that you want to then go and research more about the subject.  GOOGLE :  HENRY VIII.  Which I totally did.  And then I went to the library and piled my arms with books about him and his wives and watched documentaries.  It was awesome!  So, when I heard that there was going to be a TV series called "The Tudors" I was super excited!  Until I saw that they had cast Jonathan Rhys  Meyers in the part.

 Tell me, Hollywood, how this:

Became THIS:

Help me Rhonda. 

But I digress......

Through fantastic writing, and tight editing, The Other Boleyn Girl will have you turning its pages till the wee hours of the night, and likely thinking of the characters when you are not in the act of reading it. 


For more about Philippa Gregory and her works you can visit her website here.

8 Blabs:

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

This was the first book I read by her and it was during my maternity leave. I was emotional and weepy and ate it up like ice cream. !

Carol said...

I have yet to read anything by her. I really should pick this one up sometime.

Jessica said...

The Other Boleyn Girl has been on my wishlist since the movie came out. :) Sadly, I still haven't picked it up, but now I have a new inspiration to do so.

Lori Johnston said...

Also the first book I've read by Philippa Gregory. LOVED IT. A shame what they did to the film version.

If possible, I loved The Boleyn Inheritance even more.

Great post!

Wannabe Super Mom Bookworm said...

I haven't yet read the book but would like to, I have to say...I really enjoyed the movie!

Unknown said...

Lisa -
Very cute lol!
From the history books apparently when he was young and did not have gout he was quite a handsome man... buy hey who the heck knows.

I enjoyed this book when I read it a few years ago. The movie was ok....
Take Care!

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

I'm going to read this for one of my challenges in the next couple of months...glad to hear you enjoyed it!

bookmagic said...

I read this and remember liking it, but the other day I was looking for on my shelves and could not find it. I usually only get rid of books I don't like. This is why I now have a blog, to keep track of stuff like this:)

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