Thursday, July 8, 2010
Book Review: The Boleyn Inheritance
Have I mentioned how much I loved The Other Boleyn Girl? Well, I did. I started reading it toward the end of our honeymoon last year, and I might have ignored the hubs for the majority of the 7-hour car ride home because I was reading it... Oops!
I read The Constant Princess earlier this year, and enjoyed it, too. The Boleyn Inheritance takes place in history after The Other Boleyn Girl (The Constant Princess takes place before TOBG). All three books are by Philippa Gregory.
The Boleyn Inheritance follows 3 women in King Henry VIII's tumultuous English court after the death of Henry's 3rd wife, Jane Seymour. A bachelor again (and desperate to have another son), Henry has his minions search for a new wife. Anne of Cleves is the "winner", and she is moved to England to wed the monstrous king. They are never even able to consummate the marriage, though, and Anne finds herself divorced, but with head still firmly attached.
Meanwhile, Katherine Howard, cousin to the first (and now beheaded) Queen Anne (Boleyn), takes the King's eye even though he is old enough to be her grandfather. She performs her wifely duties well for her husband the King, but it's not long before her eyes stray and she falls in love--hard--with one of the King's men. In Henry's England, adultery is equal to treason, and treason is punished by death.
Behind the scenes in all of this is Lady Rochford, Jane Boleyn. Her testimony put both her husband George and her sister-in-law Anne's necks on the chopping block. She is able, with the help of her uncle the Duke of Norfolk to make her way back to court, and serves both Queen Anne (of Cleves) and Queen Katherine (Howard). She again plays a key role in the downfall of her kinswoman.
The Boleyn Inheritance is full of the turmoil and intrigue of The Other Boleyn Girl, but it's just not as...compelling. I enjoyed reading this book, as the time period fascinates me, but I just sort of feel "meh" about it now that I've finished it. I'm glad that I read it, but it won't be one I keep on my bookshelf.
Next up: Same Kind of Different as Me. I might already be halfway through it...