Okay, so first off, let me say how excited I was to see that Olive Kitteridge (which I reviewed here ) win the Pulitzer Prize for literature today! I first became interested in Olive Kitteridge after seeing the collection of short stories show up on several "best of 2008" lists. And I was not dissapointed. The stories were interelated enough that the collection felt more like a novel than a short story collection, and they were really rich, which I always love. Definitely one worth checking out.
And now a review. This is an older book, which is a little unusual for me, but I actually received this book as a gift way back when I got my Kindle 1 in December 2007, but I never got around to reading it. Not really sure why I put it off so long, but now that I have my Kindle 2, I was anxious to read something on it, so this book was a natural pick. It was good, although it did take me a long time to read since I've been super busy this past week. So here goes...
Philippa Gregory's "The Boleyn Inheritance" picks up three years after the end of "The Other Boleyn Girl", Gregory's blockbuster novel about Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary. Many of the characters from the earlier novel make a return appearance here, but the story is told from a different perspective--with three narrators, Anne of Cleaves, Kitty Howard, and Jane Boleyn. These three narrators give a very different perspective on Henry VIII's court than is seen in the earlier novel, although all three women are subject to Henry's rapidly changing temper. The court is now one of fear instead of the golden court of the earlier novel, and everyone has to watch her back to keep from getting caught up in the Boleyn Inheritance. As first Anne, and then Kitty become Queen and then quickly fall, the treachery of the English court is explored with all of Gregory's usual detail and intrigue.
Although I don't think this book was as good as "The Other Boleyn Girl" or "The Virgin's Lover" it is definitely a strong addition to Gregory's "Boleyn" series. The novel is a fast paced and easy read, and it keeps moving to keep the reader interested. I wished frequently that Gregory would have spent more time getting into the head of each of her characters--sometimes the chapters felt a little rushed. But overall I did feel like this was an enjoyable read that captured the spirit of the Tudor period and life at court.
I would recommend this book to fans of the Tudor period or people who enjoyed Gregory's other works.