Holly which took a circuitous route to get to me. Sent to my daughter's Australian address it reached me last month when I visited Melbourne! Thank you Holly for a delightful book. This will also be a read for the Historical Fiction Challenge 2012.
Anne Boleyn has been a subject much discussed, written about, raged over and torn to bits. There is still much more that a good author can do with it and this is one such book. You have historical fiction at its best - a reason why one should read this genre and if you generally don't I can recommend you start with this one. You have a rich colorful history, plenty of fact, a good dollop of fiction, rivalries, jealousies, back stabbing, a ruler who can justify every act of his however blatantly vile it could be - what more could one want.
The story is not just of Anne but also of Meg. Two childhood friends - separated when young, one to go to the French Court and one married to an elderly man - a pawn of her family who only look at family advancement and no personal happiness at all. Brought together at the court of Henry VIII Meg proves to be a stable friend to Anne who tends to alienate those around her. Fast forward to Anne's marriage to the King, her inability to provide the very important son and her subsequent fall from grace. Henry's eyes start wandering (as is very usual for him) and Anne is sent to the Tower on charges fabricated to suit the King so that he can conveniently move on to the next wife.
Fortunately for Meg with Anne's disastrous end things turn out better for Meg. A different way of the same story told but interesting nevertheless. I was glad I had an opportunity of reading this book. I understand that this is the first in a series by this author and I would be happy to see her next book.