Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Other Boleyn Girl
This was my latest pick for the neighborhood book club - consisting of very conservative ladies from the neighborhood with very strick rules about the kinds of books we choose to read. These rules include (in no particular order) no swearing, no sex, no violence. Needless to say I am hard-pressed typically to find a book that I like, that presents options for discussion AND that fit into the nice little rule box. This time I had to pick a book that I had not read yet after finding that a couple of recommendations from others didn't pan out due to violence and sex. So, I pulled my latest "hey, I want to read that!" impulse buy out of the stack of books waiting to be cracked open and started in. When time was up on making a choice, I was about 90 pages in, it not only grabbed my attention but it had not an ounce of forbidden topics. WOOHOO! So, I announced it to the ladies with the disclaimer that I had not finished it. I went home after bookclub and the next day continued reading so I could complete it before the end of the month. To my horror - well, enjoyment really - the sex started! And it never ended the rest of the book. I spent the next 5 weeks until we met to discuss worried that everyone in the neighborhood would think I had broken the rules (who, me?!?) and done it on purpose, which of course I hadn't. Other than the fact that all the sex that Henry VIII was having during the Ann Boleyn era took on the role of another character in the book, it was a very interesting and entertaining look at the infamous time in English history. We had a very rousing discussion and even the ladies in the neighborhood had lots to talk about... without touching on the sex! One of the points that several folks had disagreement on was the author's portrayal of the King in the book. He was a very powerful historical figure who was described in this book as a very stumbling King who was easily manipulated by his court. There was also some intrigue as to the relationship of Anne Boleyn to certain members of her family that left much to discuss. For someone who's only knowledge of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII was that they were married and he cut off her head, it was a very enlightening read. Enjoyable reading with a little bit o'history mixed in! I recommend it... We are watching the movie tomorrow and we'll see if the movie is better than the book. What am I saying? The movie is NEVER as good as the book!