Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy review

Many of us know the story of King Henry’s second wife Anne Boleyn by heart, even those who know little about the history of England could tell you of her fate. Although if you ask them about the events that led up to her demise, I am sure that, their answers will lack a key factor. Many fail to realize that Anne’s own sister-in-law, Jane Boleyn was the catalyst that led Anne and a small group of her friends to the scaffold. In “The Boleyn Wife”, author Brandy Purdy allows Jane Boleyn to recount the events leading up to her own demise in this poignant novel.

During her last stay in the Tower, Jane Boleyn begins to recall the events that have led up to her own demise. Falling in love with the dashing George Boleyn, Jane will stop at nothing until she has claimed him for her husband. Getting her wish, she soon discovers that the only woman her husband will ever love and care about is his sister, the devious Anne Boleyn. As Anne’s star begins to rise and her circle at court grows, Jane finds that she is on the outside looking in. Jilted by her husband Jane quietly gathers information pertaining to their affairs. Suddenly Jane finds herself in the position to use that knowledge against her greatest enemy Anne. Although by doing so Jane finds out that, she will lose more than she could have ever imagined. Not only has she doomed Anne and the group of men who surrounded her to suffer a traitor’s death, Jane has doomed her own husband to share their fate. She now has to endure the world she has created for herself. Plagued by the deeds she has done she spends her time severing the Queens that followed Anne. When Henry marries, his fifth Queen the young and daft, Katherine Howard, Jane is once more embroiled in the affairs of others. With the arrival of this new Queen who happens to be the niece of Anne Boleyn, Jane’s demise has been ushered in.

Reading “The Boleyn Wife” I was able to see things from the perspective of Jane Boleyn. I believe that Brandy Purdy has humanized her so that for once I actually felt a bit of sympathy for her plight. Although Brandy is keen to stating the fact that Jane was the author of her own demise, so readers see both sides of the world she created. Well researched and with the perfect blend of fiction, “The Boleyn Wife” will leave readers with something to talk about. A must read for those interested in Tudor fiction.

My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of The Boleyn Wife.

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