Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy

Title: The Boleyn Bride
Author: Brandy Purdy
From: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 25th February 2014
Links: GoodreadsAmazon

Elizabeth Howard was the jewel of her family, pretty and well trained even she knows that the world is at her feet. That is until her father marries her off to Thomas Boleyn, the grandson of a cloth merchant. Horrified by what she deems as being a marriage beneath hers, Elizabeth has discreet affairs throughout her life, even catching the eye of the King, and in doing so watches her children, Mary (the golden child), George (the brooding boy) and Anne (the ugly duckling) from afar. Little did Elizabeth expect that it would be Anne that outshone them all.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about The Boleyn Bride, and I know I’ve had a while to process what happened in the book. It was certainly a different take on the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, and the history of how she got there.

There were points in the book where I felt that what I was getting was a summary of historic events rather than a novel. Particularly when months or even years were only given a paragraph or two in description. There wasn’t a lot of detail about some things. Though in a way it did work, and I did find it enjoyable, there was just something that didn’t quite say ‘novel’ to me.

Elizabeth was an interesting character. She was vain, but knew and accepted that she was vain, but also had moments where she clearly actually cared for her children and her main lover, Remi. In places that made her likable and in other places it just pointed out how little she cared the rest of the time.

The first person narrative really gave a look into how Elizabeth worked as a person, but it also brought in a different perspective of Anne Boleyn’s fall. I hadn’t really ever considered the affect that it might have had on her mother, and this book really brought that to life. It was heartbreaking at times.

I quite liked the version of Anne that was presented in The Boleyn Bride, she was across between the totally sympathetic Anne and the spiteful Anne. She was close to her brother but not incestuous (there have been some books implying she was!) and I liked her as a normal person. Even more so was the fact that her ambition was caused by her parents not thinking that much will ever come of her.

The Boleyn Bride was an interesting and different take on Anne Boleyn’s story, and that of her mother.