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.
Today, 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 Philippa Gregory’s website.