From the Keeper Shelf – 2

I warned you that my keeper shelf is very jumbled and here’s the proof of it. The second book in the front row of the top shelf is a completely different genre than yesterday’s book.

The Other Bolyn Girl by Philippa GregoryToday, I’ll talk about The Other Bolyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I have the Harper edition from 2011, which has the actresses from the movie version on the cover.

This is historical fiction and a big chewy read. It’s written in first person, which gives an immediacy to the story, and is about Anne Bolyn’s sister, Mary. What I love about Philippa Gregory’s books is that she obviously does a lot of research but she has a gift for leavening it with action and dialogue. Her books take me a while to read because there are always many characters and points of view, but I feel as if I’m right there with the characters. There’s a lot of fiction and non-fiction about Anne, so I enjoyed the fictionalization of her sister’s story. It’s always intriguing to see how a writer picks through the documentation that exists about an historical person and puts together a compelling story.

This work was also made into a movie but I haven’t seen it. I do tend to watch Michael Hirst’s mini-series The Tudors whenever I re-read this book. The pageantry is glorious in that production and it echoes what is described in the book.

Here’s the book on Goodreads and here it is on

Here’s Philippa Gregory’s website.