Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.
You can also find me on my blog.
The Boleyn Bride is the story of Anne Boleyn as told through the eyes of her mother, Elizabeth Boleyn. Initially, this seemed like an interesting point of view as I could not recall ever hearing much about the mother of this doomed queen. In the tradition of Philippa Gregory and Jean Plaidy, the author manages to make this heroine(?) vain, insipid, and completely unlikable.
If you are a fan of Gregory, you will probably enjoy this book. It is the same sort of fluffy historical fiction with repetitive prose that is written by PG. The story of Henry VIII's Great Matter is successfully made boring and bland, something that must have been challenging.
Though I enjoyed seeing Anne, George, and Mary Boleyn through their mother's eyes, she was so self-absorbed and shallow that the reader hears much more about her long line of lovers than her famous children. She admits only after her children are lost to her that she failed as a mother and has lived a pointless life.
This books most redeeming quality was the descriptions of scenery and clothing. I had no problem picturing English nobility dripping with jewels as they danced and flirted. It just wasn't enough to make up for things like sexual fantasies about 10 year old boys.
It was a quick, easy read, so if you're looking for something to give your mind a break from more substantial historical fiction this could be a fun romp through a pleasure-seeking woman's life at the Tudor court.
This book was provided to me by the publisher in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.