Wolf Hall.

It's been a while since I've written a book review. I wanted this to be more of a regular thing, but life seems to take off sometimes and I can't seem to read as regularly as I would like. I also love to read classics and I think they my reviews of them can be slightly irrelevant. Last night, however, I finally finished a contemporary book worthy of review.

Wolf Hall takes place during the time of Henry VIII's crumbling marriage to Katherine of Aragon. When I heard the plot I immediately thought of the Showtime show The Tudors, but this story is different. It is one that has been untapped for a long time, in my opinion. It is written from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell.

If you are anything like me, I was not a history buff in high school, and I was reminded of my severe confusion between Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Cranmer, and Thomas More. So many Thomases, all living in the same time, all in close relation to the same king. This book did a great job in clearing all of that up, and giving the reader sympathy for Mr. Cromwell.

I loved learning about the (in)famous king from this perspective. I saw him in a completely new light. It was also fascinating to learn about Cromwell's family and personal life. I enjoyed following him both in the King's castle and in his own home.

Hilary Mantel is a beautiful writer. I had just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series when I began this book. Coming from a strictly journalistic writing style to that of Mantel's ornate, elegant wording was daunting at first, but once I got the hang of the writing and the layout of the narrative, I felt comfortable in the century. I felt as if I was walking alongside Cromwell, in the room with his fiery discussions with More, shrinking with him as he faced the Boleyn girls and their mystical ways.

Most of us know the story, but Mantel found a way to make it new, to make it unfamiliar and captivating. I recommend this book to all who love historical fiction and want to hear the story told in a fresh perspective.

Wolf Hall is the first book of a series. The sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, was just released, and I will be starting it tonight.

See some of my other reviews:

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1 comment:

  1. makena! this is hilarious - i just finished girl with the dragon tattoo series and am moving onto wolf hall!!! can't wait to start! - christina lynch


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