I received a free copy of The Boleyn Bride from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my honest review. All purchase links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one I receive a small commission which helps to keep the Farm cats in treats.
About the Book:
About the Author:
Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), THE QUEEN’S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR), and THE QUEEN’S RIVALS (THE FALLEN QUEEN). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her, and her cat Tabby, via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com where she posts updates about her work and weekly book reviews.
This book looks at the life of Elizabeth Howard – better known to history as the mother of Anne Boleyn. She was a daughter of privilege who at least in this tale is a spoiled child who expected to marry well and lord it over everyone at court. Her father and brother thwart her dreams when they marry her to a social climbing Thomas Bullen – soon to be Boleyn – and as we all know from our history lessons their children will change history.
The novel starts with a prologue that is more like a first chapter as it goes on for many, many pages. In it Elizabeth lets loose her rage at the loss of Anne and George. From there she starts with basically a memoir. She was not a likable character. She really didn’t have much to redeem her; she hated her husband, she really didn’t care for her children and she was as vain as could be. Her only good quality seems to have been a loyalty towards Catherine of Aragon. (Now this is in the scope of this novel. In researching her post reading I learned that this is historical fiction for sure.) But there were some issues in the scope of the novel that drove me a bit batty. Elizabeth’s near constant reference to her husband by “Bullen, I mean Boleyn!” OK we get it already. Her fooling around – got that too, she was a slut. And the one major plot point I could not reconcile – if Elizabeth truly did not care for her children as she so often professed why all the hysterical mourning and grieving? It did not make sense.
All that being written there were parts of the book that I found interesting. I did enjoy reading about this time in history through the eyes of someone NOT Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn or one of the typical players. The writing was light and easy enough to keep a person interested and I suspect if it were picked up by someone who has not done as much reading of the period it would be enjoyed much more.