The best historical novel ever!
I'll admit it here and now: i hate historical fiction. i loathe it with a passion. it's always boring, repetitive, and since it's history, of course i know how it'll end! so, with that, it's obvious that i was very biased before reading the other boleyn girl, by philippa gregory. yet, i was thoroughly surprised. i was captivated with every page until the every end. there were three different aspects, though, that kept me entranced and thinking: the characterization, plot, and themes of the book. the very characterization of mary boleyn was interesting. i love how much she different from the rest of her conniving family, and how she was basically forced to become king henry viiis mistress rather than going into it willingly. she really was presented as a true heroine. yet, mary clearly wasn't perfect, as is shown in the beginning when she was often immature, whiney, and desperate. but throughout the book, it shows how much she grows and matures, and it makes her seem so real. you really feel for her like you could feel for your own best friend. anne boleyn, on the other hand, was presented as the complete opposite of her younger sister, yet was still so eloquently written. she was intelligent, witty, wicked, and always looked out for herself. in the end, you actually are pretty happy when she gets her head lopped off. the plot was strangely unique, with the idea of mary basically facing off against her family. her first major conflict was going against her family's wishes to become king henry viiis mistress. yet when she finally wants him, and she has his son, he marries her sister. it then goes through mary's trials of wanting to help her sister bare a soon, be a good wife, and the feelings she still has for the king. of course, in the end, anne's head goes off, as in history, bit the little fiction that gives the book some spice gives the book an exciting and fitting conclusion. the last, and best literary element in the other boleyn girl, was it's overall themes. and i mentioned before, mary's maturity throughout the book grows, and even though she started as a petulant young girl, she grew up into a smart, sensible young woman. as a lesson, she learned that trying to get yourself ahead in the world isn't everything, and if you're in too deep, you might lose your head. yet, the overall theme and moral of the story was to not let other people control your live and choose a desity for you, when you can do it yourself. overall, i would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an exciting historical fiction full on sex, greed, malice, and (in the end) an overwhelming sense of justice. i would give it a 5/5 for insight, intrigue, and just for being one good read. so, in conclusion, this is such a good book you'll have to try and keep your head from coming off.