With this brilliant foray into historical fiction, Christy Award finalist Sandra Byrd delivers a fresh look at Anne Boleyn through the eyes of her lifelong friend Meg Wyatt. As Anne finds favor with Henry VIII, Meg basks in the glow of Anne’s glory. But when Anne falls out of favor, the childhood friends are plunged into a maelstrom of slander and intrigue that tests the limits of their loyalties and puts their lives - and the lives of their loved ones - in grave danger.
©2011 Sandra Byrd (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
I love historical fiction, so I read many novels about Anne Boleyn. This novel is not like any of them. It shows another side of Anne, a softer side (at least at the begining) which indear you to her. The story, of course, is dramatic. Meg is a carichtor to love and admire. She was a very strong woman. Her story kept me curious right to the very end.
Yes, I would absolutely listen to this book again many times! As a fan of history and all things Tudors, this has to be one of my favorite books written about the story of Anne Boleyn. Anne is one of my favorite characters in history because she is such an intelligent and strong female (that is how I like to think of her anyway. . .) I have read many books about her- both fiction and nonfiction- and I am constantly looking for books that provide a unique take on her story. This one is a winner! Even though it is fiction, it is a believable portrayal of what might have happened to Anne and her friend Meg. It is very well written and the author did an excellent job of developing the characters and transporting you to that time period. Even though I know the tragic outcome of what ultimately became of Anne, the portrayal in this book of her untimely end is the most emotional I have ever read and I cried while listening to it. I also enjoyed the narration by Charlotte Parry- but I am a sucker for anyone with a British accent. I could have listened to her speak all day and she did a terrific job portraying all of the characters. I love this book and I am so glad I found it!
I suppose the closest comparison to other fictional novels about Anne Boleyn that I have read would be to those by Jean Plaidy or Philippa Gregory. Prior to reading this book, I found those two authors to be my favorites in their portrayals of Anne Boleyn and other Tudor period stories. However, this book by Sandra Byrd definitely raised the bar for me. I found it to be more intelligently written and developed than some of the other fictional stories I have read on this topic. I would also recommend the author Allison Weir if you are looking for well researched, excellently detailed and entertaining nonfiction about the Tudor period.
As a history buff and lover of a good story, I would highly recommend this book- particularly to those who are obsessed with the Tudors and looking for a unique take on Anne Boleyn's story. I couldn't stop listening! I noticed on Amazon.com that this book is the first in a Tudors series written by Sandra Byrd and the next book, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, is to be released in June 2012. I am so excited about this and will most definitely keep reading. . .or listening. . .I hope they bring her second installment to Audible.
reviews for fun
Lady Margaret "Meg" Wyatt was my 14th great grandmother so I was thrilled when I came across this novel of Anne Boleyn's friendship with Meg Wyatt. I thought it was very well done. In this book Meg Wyatt is very devoted and loyal to Anne Boleyn right up to Anne's violent end. Historically interesting with facts regarding Anne's execution. They were violent times in history.
This is a great story---an outsider's tale of the celebrity sensationalism (and real life tragedy) of the life of Anne Boleyn. And Charlotte Parry is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.
I'm a grad student with very little time to edit reviews because I'm editing research papers. Forgive the typos. They're made with love.
This story is told to readers by Meg, a friend of Anne Boleyn. In real life, Byrd used the story of Anne's friend, Anne Gainsford who was reportedly in the Tower with her when she died, but the obvious confusion that could come in a book made her change the name to Meg. It's a wonderful work of fiction and a different take on history's bias.
Anne Boleyn is in the spotlights these days and I'm getting a bit tired of her, but this book is the story of one of her ladies-in-waiting so I was intrigued. It's a totally different portrayal of Anne, one that's not so much a seductress as one that is swept up in Henry VIII's vanity and obsession to get anything he wants. She's not exactly innocent but she's not the schemer she's usually portrayed as. And she has a big hand in the Reformation in England.
While we see the familiar story of Anne and Henry play out, we learn a lot about Meg, this girl who grew up near the Boleyns and was friends with a young Anne before she ran off to France and learn the art of seduction. You get a good understanding of how women were treated at the time, used as pawns, and how allowing a woman to be educated could create a lot of problems for the men in their lives because, God forbid, they can think for themselves.
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