Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Though I'm not one for historical fiction, after catching the steamy preview for the movie adaptation, I decided to give Boleyn Girl a shot (see for yourself at Sony's website). Gregory's novel was originally published back in 2001 and has since risen to be a ubiquitous "book club" pick throughout the country. It's definitely easy to see why, considering that the book is chockfull of meaty discussion material ranging from sex, feminist issues, political themes of the time, familial relationships and the age old search for love (and baby making).

Readers follow the plight of Mary Carey (the oft-forgotten sister of Anne Boleyn and the title's figure head) as she is used as a romantic pawn by her family in their greedy quest for riches and recognition from King Henry VIII. Eventually the tables turn and Anne becomes the proverbial apple of King Henry's eye and crown jewel of the Boleyn family. Then things start to get ugly...

Gregory's novel is a hefty one, spanning over 600 pages. It will definitely be interesting to see how the film adapts to the book's many twists and turns. Personally, I kind of loathe Natalie Portman so in a strange way, it's nice to see her play a particularly nasty character that I'll probably hate too.

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