Monday, May 15, 2017

A King's Obsession

"What can a woman do outside of marriage?...
She can learn, she can be creative in many ways, and she can be herself."
--Alison Weir, Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballatine Books
Pages: 544
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Find on: Goodreads | Amazon

My Thoughts

The Belle
Anybody that knows me knows I am beyond obsessed with Anne Boleyn. So when I found out Alison Weir, a favorite author of mine in regards to historical fiction and non-fiction Tudor books, I knew I had to read it. The second of six in a series exploring Henry VIII's six wives, I found this book to be everything I was hoping for.
Told from the POV of Anne, we meet her when she's a precocious girl of eleven wanting more than anything to prove herself to her family. This is one part of Anne's story that I'm not super knowledgeable on so I loved reading about this part. I knew she spent her formative years in France but had no idea of her tutelage under some of the most intelligent and forward-thinking women I didn't know existed. I loved reading about Margaret of Austria and her views that women were just as powerful as men and were equals rather than inferior. I can definitely see how her upbringing and education formed the adult we know and love.

My only complaint is I thought the pacing was a bit off. We spend so much time over the repetitive years of Henry wanting a divorce and nobody giving him a resolution. It felt very repetitive, which it was, when more time could have been spent on her time as Queen and downfall. The ending felt abrupt and almost out of nowhere because so much time was spent on Henry fawning over her for 6 years before their marriage and almost no time on what made him snap and move against her. Very jarring, even to a reader who knew the timeline of events prior to reading.

I thought Weir's portrayal of Anne was fantastic, for the most part. I loved that she gave us a real person behind the infamous persona. She gave a girl and women who I think we all can relate to on some level. I felt such empathy and understanding of her heart and struggles. At her core, I believe Anne was a girl who just wanted to be loved. To be loved and accepted and understood for who she was. And when she realized men are awful, she turned her goals to power instead. Wanting to exact change in her country that she loved so much and give everyone the ability to express themselves.

Her ending was not right. It wasn't fair or just and she deserved so much more than what she was dealt. History is written by men and with all women of her time she got the shit end of the stick. It makes me incredibly happy that historians exist and are able to give a different side of events, a much more believable story of events if we're being real. Long Live the Queen!
Reserved Seating
If you love history, the Tudors, and Anne Boleyn...this book is for you.

2 comments:

  1. I am obsessed with the Tudor dynasty and I am so looking forward to reading this series! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always trust your recommendations when it comes to Anne Boleyn books! I hadn't heard of this one before (and I don't think I've read Alison Weir?) so I'll definitely have to check it out.

    ReplyDelete

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