The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

theotherboleyngirlI very much enjoy historical fiction, in fact, it is my favorite genre, and reading (or watching) about the Tudors is always highly enjoyable. This is my second read from Philippa Gregory this year, the first being The Constant Princess, which I should say I really enjoyed and learned a lot from. I wasn’t sure what to read next and I’m not familiar on the correct order of the books in the series so I decided to pick this up since it is what I’m familiar with.

The Other Boleyn Girl is the story of Mary Boleyn and how King Henry VIII was attracted to her when she was fourteen. Soon they became lovers, however, the king started to have interest on Mary’s sister, Anne. Mary is submissive and kind. Anne is fierce and notorious. Very little is known about the life of Mary and it was clever of Gregory to give life and use her less known character to lead us or show us Anne’s character and story from a different perspective.

This is really a good take on the Boleyn sisters. Definitely a page-turner despite it being a lengthy read. Very interesting, enjoyable and captivating. I can’t wait for my next Gregory read.

Quotable Quotes:

“If it means something, take it to heart. If it means nothing, it’s nothing. Let it go.”

“I would know you anywhere for my true love. Whoever I was and whoever you were, I would know you at once for my true love.”

“The world hasn’t changed that much; men still rule.”

“You can smile when your heart is breaking because you’re a woman.”

“Anyone can attract a man. The trick is to keep him.”

Rating: 4/5 stars 

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

theconstantprincessThis is my first book from Philippa Gregory. I have been wanting to read her books as I’m very much interested with the life and history of the royals and this was really a good start.

The Constant Princess is the story of Catalina of Aragon, the Infanta of Spain, daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, raised to become the Princess of Wales and future Queen of England. She and Arthur, the Prince of Wales, married at a very young age but they truly loved each other. It was just very unfortunate that Arthur died just merely five months of marriage because of “sweating sickness.”

Catalina was then left with nothing and ignored by Arthur’s family but she stayed strong and tough and determined to take control of her life and soon married Arthur’s brother, Tudor King Henry VIII. Catalina prepared herself to become the queen of England all her life but found herself unprepared for the physical and emotional aspects her new life requires of her.

I personally found this book very interesting because I like and admire Katharine most among the wives/women of King Henry VIII. I admire how she was able to manipulate Henry in their early years of marriage as to how and what she thinks is best for England. All through her years of trials and hardships, it is indeed commendable how she remained constant with her desire to make England a better and stronger country and how constant she remained faithful to God.

This is a very good read where history comes alive.

Quotable Quotes:

“You have to have faith that you are doing God’s will. Sometimes you will not understand. Sometimes you will doubt. But if you are doing God’s will, you can’t be wrong, you can’t go wrong.”

“He may well speak French and Latin and half a dozen languages, but since he has nothing to say – what good are they?”

“Words have weight, something once said cannot be unsaid. Meaning is like a stone dropped into a pool; the ripples will spread and you cannot know what back they wash against.”

“God does not make the way smooth for those He loves. He sends hardships to try them. Those that God loves the best are those who suffer the worst.”

“Then life taught me a harder lesson, beloved: it is better to forgive an enemy than destroy him.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

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