The Other Boleyn Girl

May 19, 2008

Historical Fiction
By Philippa Gregory
Reviewed by Taylor Tobey
5 out of 5 Stars

Positioned in a place where the ambitious thrive, and the weak fail, Mary Boleyn is forced to live at court, where nothing is her choice and to disobey what she is told to do would be the end of her. Among these rivalries is her dear sister Anne, who although is and will always be faithful to her, is still competing against her for a spot with the king. Finding out the hard way, she realizes that her only job is to move the Boleyn family into power, and her family will do whatever it takes to do so. As the story arises, Mary becomes the king’s mistress, and later has two healthy children off of him. Even as now she has fallen in love with him, her challenging sister starts to grab the king’s attention, which eventually leads to him divorcing Queen Katherine, and marrying her. While Mary continues to be heartbroken, she soon meets the charming William Stafford, and happily runs away with him to his pleasant farm in Essex where they easily have a daughter of their own. Although it may seem as though everything has turned out in the Boleyn’s favor, suspicion of Anne’s actions toward the king start to emerge. This results in a series of trials that question Anne’s right to the throne. Now only hope can help her, for her ambitious mind has trapped her and nothing but serious consequences are due to happen. My favorite character would have to be Mary Boleyn. Throughout the book she matures to her greatest length and in my opinion makes the best decisions out of all the characters. Her way of working through the rough experiences that behold her, shows how she grows to be a confident, self-assertive young woman that can finish effectively on top, when on top doesn’t always mean being everyone’s favorite. “’I know I am a better woman then her. She is ice and ambition, and she would see me on the gallows before surrendering her ambition,’” says Mary Boleyn about Anne. When realizing this, Mary knows her greatest enemy right now is her very own sister. Fortunately for herself, her future is set, but what should become of Anne’s? This story of two sisters fighting for a position only one can have will keep any reader hooked from the beginning. Reading through the plot, one can only guess how The Other Boleyn Girl will end.

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