Friday, 20 June 2014

The Other Boleyn Girl
by Philippa Gregory
Rating:  5/5

 Pages: 529 pages
Publishers: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2001
ISBN: 978-0-00-651400-8

Summary (via Goodreads)
Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: The love of a king

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realises 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 fate into her own hands.

A rich and compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamourous court in Europe and survived by following her heart.


Philippa Gregory brings to life the amazing, yet overlooked life of Mary Boleyn, sister to one of England's most notorious and well known queens, Anne Boleyn. Focusing on the mixture of rivalry and love that exists between the two sisters, Gregory gives the reader insight into the ambition of the Tudor court and the scandal that could raise a family up or bring them crashing down. Through the eyes of Mary we learn about the lust and passion that Henry VIII lived by and how a single suggestion can become the most tragic of obsessions, in this case an obsession that reshaped England forever and cemented Henry VIII firmly in his place in history as the terrifying tyrant we all now know.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it to breath taking in its description of the architecture and culture of the time. I found myself rooting for Mary despite my prior knowledge of the gruesome ending her family faced and wanting her to succeed. I felt her heart ache as though they were my own and couldn't put the book down until I had finished the final page, only to want to pick it up and read it again.

Full of sex, ambition, hatred, betrayal, revenge and intrigue, this book is a must read book for any lover of history or romance.

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