Top critical review
The poor cousin to Mantel's excellent representation of the same period
on September 29, 2017
An alternative take on the Anne Boleyn story with great emphasis on the scurrility, scandal and cynicism of Henry VIII's court and the intelligent if relentlessly ambitious Anne. Her sister Mary, the narrator, comes across as passive and compliant but more likeable. Not quite sure how this novel came to be such a success. The writing is often sloppy, there is endless repetition of the book's main themes and an unnerving misuse of 'I'and 'me': surely the Tudor court would have known the difference? Its faults notwithstanding it is a good yarn, a possible interpretation of a tumultuous time for England and many historical details, if not imagined, are interesting. Poor cousin to Mantel's superb version.