The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory – 5/10

It’s pretty much exactly what it says on the tin (and in the film) – it’s a better-than-average-written piece of chick lit set, fairly convincingly, in the Tudor court.

The characters are fair enough, not overly engaging – although the protagonist has a simple, home-spun sort of voice which is pleasant enough to follow. The men are all a bit dull apart from William Stafford, who turns out to be the nice guy (by the time we’re introduced to him, it’s a shock that there are any honest men running around at all!). The plot is similarly enjoyable without being the stuff of greatness – I read it uninterrupted on a very long flight, but the time did pass rather quickly.

What I really did enjoy about this was the character of Anne Boleyn. I have no idea, not having ever studied Tudor history, whether the portrayal is accurate, but the depiction of a ruthless, power-hungry young woman is quite extraordinary and far beyond what I had expected.

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