The Boleyn Bride
The Boleyn Family (aka the family of the infamous Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII) has long been the fare of historical novels and it’s hard to imagine anything fresh in this genre. Yet Brandy Purdy attempts to do just that, telling the story of Anne’s mother Elizabeth Boleyn in her tantalizing new novel The Boleyn Bride. Elizabeth’s first-hand account of one of history’s most tragic love stories is intriguing and tragic.
While she remained a largely unlikable heroine, Elizabeth Boleyn was a perspective on the Tudor tale that hasn’t been over used. Had Purdy retained this perspective, that is. The book begins all about Elizabeth, but it quickly becomes a recollection of the life and times of Anne Boleyn. This is exciting and intriguing, but we all know the story of ill-fated Anne. Who was Elizabeth Boleyn as a woman? As a reader, I don’t feel I got to know her in this novel. Surely she was more than a vain, evil-hearted woman who disliked her husband and children. There was little that was fresh and much to be desired. I wanted to leave Elizabeth Boleyn in the poisonous, depressing garden detailed in the endlessly long prologue. This Tudor fan was disappointed!
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