Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn
Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice.
At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?
Bring Up the Bodies is one of The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2012, one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012 and one of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2012
Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize
Winner of the 2012 Costa Book Award for Novel
One of the New York Times Book Review's Top 10 Books of 2012

My thoughts:
I wish I had read Wolf Hall before reading this, I was browsing for an audio book and saw this one on the list.  I knew I had read a review of it in a magazine and it seemed like it was well liked.  I'm not sure if I will go back and read Wolf Hall now.  While I enjoyed this book, I got a little tired of all the intrigue and behind the scenes maneuvering that ended with Anne Boleyn being beheaded.

While I know that this is a fictional account, based on facts from that time, I have to say that this book made the details much more real.  For me, I can remember history so much better when it is more than just a list of facts and details, but when I can put faces to the names and think of them as the real people that they were.  I think this is why I also like biographies because it makes someone from the past real, especially if the writer does a good job with the book and doesn't bother with listing details but puts them into the story.

I enjoyed this book, but I felt at times that it moved a bit slowly and I got frustrated with the English court and the way they did things.  Obviously I knew Anne had no chance, so it seemed like such a slow build up to what I knew the final outcome was going to be, and she seemed so unaware that there was going to be no way to save herself.  I wondered too if the accusations about Anne and her brother were actually from the time or fabricated for the story, this isn't an area of history that I've ever delved into very much.  It was very well written so I can see why it won so many awards.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805090031
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432

Meet the Author

Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of ten previous novels, including Wolf Hall, which sold more than 200,000 copies and won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. Her previous works include her novel, A Place of Greater Safety, and her memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. She lives in England with her husband.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fascinating! I enjoy HF, so I will check out this book/author. Have a great week and happy reading~