This audiobook gets it right in so many places... This is my 4th experience with Phillipa Gregory audiobooks and it is, this is one of the best. The n..Show More »arrator needs to get an award for her depiction of Catherine of Aragon. The combination of the narration and the story itself makes this book a joy to listen to. I sit here in awe re-listening the last 15 minutes of the audiobook and am simply chilled to my bones as to the epic writing, the poignant mood and the epic narration.
This is one of the BEST narrated books I have heard and you can even hear the growth in the voice of Catherine of Aragon as the story progresses. The inflection of tone, the strength in her voice and the effortless weaving between the first person narrative of Catherine herself and the third person view of a casual on looker is beautiful to witness.
As great as the narration though is... the story was gripping. You do have those moments in the book that seem to drag on a bit but after listening to the entire book, you think back and find that there is nothing in the book that was not necessary. You find yourself researching this great queen while listening to book itself and sharing in her heartbreak, her moments of betrayal, the numerous loss, her victories, her strength, her beauty, her sheer grace and poise. You see Henry VIII through her eyes and also her true love Arthur as well as Henry VII and you see how they change and grow throughout the book.
This was a joy to listen to, I see why this is a best seller. Phillipa Gregory did it again...
It's hard not to find Phillipa Gregory skills downright envious at times. She has a way of taking you there that all writers try to do and only the re..Show More »ally good ones are able to achieve outright. This is the type of title that you can sit back in a dark room and allow yourself to be taken there. I was taken there many a times just listening to the narrator, listening to the engrossing story.
The story of Mary Boleyn (the other Boleyn girl) is one of pure intrigue. You cannot help but pity her and how she seemed to be used and manipulated for his family's ambition. She seemed genuinely an honest woman, a true 'rose' of the court despite what she seemed to be doing to Catherine of Aragon, she did still seemed subservient to the queen at the time. Anne Boleyn's character takes a new light in the book and see a woman somewhat blinded by ambition who is thrust in a situation that she simply could no longer control. You see the transformation of the King from a handsome young man to a cruel old man. You see the constant struggle of George Boleyn with his marriage to Jane and his sexuality. The uncle... Uncle Howard... you see the start of his treachery which carries over to "The Boleyn Inheritance". You also see the fall of the strong and majestic Queen Catherine of Aragon. The entire story itself is enthralling.
The narrator does a really good job. I thought I was listening to Mary herself throughout the book, or at least how I think Mary would sound in my mind. She does a very good job of taking you to that moment in time, you sense the childish romanticism as a teenager and her maturing into a woman, a mother, you can feel her fear as things in the court became more dangerous... Absolutely beautiful narration in short.
I love these books that are narrated by three persons! Along with 'The Help' that I rave about constantly, the 'Boleyn Inheritance' is one of those. E..Show More »xquisite writing, matched with beautiful narration made this book a joy to listen to. I must say though, the only reason this book does not get 5 stars across of board is because I listened the Abridged version (by mistake of course because I normally never listen to Abridged books unless I must). The narration in the Abridged book was just plain better, the one here is great, superb, beautiful, but the other one is in fact better. Do not let that stop you from getting this book though! I would also suggest you give 'The Other Boleyn Girl' a listen too prior to this if you can because this builds so well from it.
Overall... if you like Historical Lit set in that Renaissance period... You will LOVE this book!
I am not sure how the author managed to give Catherine Parr such a bland personality. It is just as likely that she was a strong woman who k..Show More »new exactly what she was doing, and did it very well. At thirty she had managed estates which takes at least basic accounting skills to deal with stewards etc, she could read and write sophisticated English, and was well trained in Latin even before she was crowned. But instead of a strong, smart, woman with shrewd political skills we get someone who goes from pathetically forced to marry an old man, to someone who becomes proactive out of family pressure and fear. Granted not being afraid in this Tudor court would be truly stupid. But I expect Catherine Parr was smart enough to use awareness of danger to outwit anyone who chose to challenge her position.
The best part of the book is the advice she got from her family and advisors, which gives the readers some insights into King Henry's court, but this could have done without the main character saying in effect "no really"?
The historical research behind the book is great.
Its a shame Catherine Parr is portrayed as a bland woman blown this way and that by the pressures of those around her. She didn't even get her crowned name, but something of a nickname throughout the whole story.
There are books out there whose narration breathes life into a book and in this case this most definitely was the case. Anyone familiar with Phillipa ..Show More »Gregory works knows what she is capable of regarding her writing and despite my initial reservations I must say I am glad to say she did not disappoint me.
I have yet to find a Phillipa Gregory book that has not been narrated well. This has, thus far, been my 5th Phillipa Gregory title (I listened “Boelyn Inheritance” twice both the Abridged and Unabridged) and my second experience with Bianca Amato. Bianca weaved the story so exceptionally well that it is easy to get somewhat lost in her words. She has a voice that in and of itself tells a story, she gave life to the characters with specific focus on Hanah, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth Tudor specifically. Exceptional Narration! Utter perfection if you ask me, probably one of the best narrations I have listened to!
Phillipa Gregory... I was reminded once more why I am a big fan of her writings. This is the fourth of the Tudor books and picks up quite well from where 'Boelyn Inheritance' left off. The book chronicles the closing years of Edward VI, the rise and fall of Mary and the ascension of Elizabeth seen through the eyes of Hanah the Fool. The writing was, as usual, immaculate if you ask me. Just the way that she crafts words is something that anyone who likes literature would appreciate it. I like the route that Phillipa Gregory chose to tell this story. I must say I was a bit disappointed at the way Hanah allowed herself to be manipulated throughout the book but was pleased with the ultimate decision that she made in the end and the way she matured throughout the entire portion of the book itself. You actually get a very interesting view of Queen Mary and of Queen Elizabeth, their relationship being a very pivotal feature throughout the entire book. Even though you do inevitably know the outcome of the story at least where Elizabeth and Mary is concerned, the view point is so unique and the story itself woven so well it is still very easy to get engrossed in the book. Very well put together story as I would expect from Phillipa Gregory.
Another Phillipa Gregory title that left me impressed, it did not impress me as much as her previous titles but for anyone who has listened and or rea..Show More »d any of her books this one has all the similar elements that her previous titles has. The narration is (as expected) spot on and the story itself was (again as expected) engrossing.
Phillipa Gregory titles always seems to benefit from attracting and employing the best most suited narrators for this type of genre out there. There is nothing I can say more about the narrator than that she (Davina Porter) did an excellent job, there is nothing I can take away from it. She had a task with having to portray a wide array of characters from different viewpoints and she did it with some ease.
The story is something you can get lost in. It starts off a bit slow but it picks up pretty well but it once again starts to drawl a bit in the center. The plot itself is very interesting with the dynamics between Queen Elizabeth, Robert Dudley and Lady Amy being the focal point of the book. Lady Amy's faith throughout the book was both admirable and foolish at the same time if you ask me.... while Robert Dudley's cunning nature is nothing short of disturbing.... Queen Elizabeth comes off as both naive and ruthless at the same time in this book.
I am a huge Phillipa Gregory fan but sadly this particular title did not live up to the high expectation I had. There were three narrators and of the ..Show More »three I truly only enjoyed one of the three narrators whilst the story, though interesting just lacked something for me.
The Other Queen follows the life of Mary, Queen of Scots during her imprisonment leading up to her death. As much as Mary's storyline is a real focal point, a rather fascinating storyline also includes Bess and her husband George Talbot. The three weaves a rather interesting relationship especially when you add Queen Elizabeth as well as William Cecil.
It's mostly a typical Phillipa Gregory type novel with the intrigue, love and treachery. You find yourself both disliking and liking all of the main characters at one point or another whilst seriously disliking both Queen Elizabeth and William Cecil. Cecil's character was definitely not spared during this conversation and as for the main characters they all seem to have at least one fundamental fault that makes them particularly difficult to like completely.
The narration though was what killed it for me. I found Ron Keith (the voice of George Talbot) so completely infuriating that I honestly wanted to just skip through his sections completely. He truly sounded like a whimpering school boy to me throughout the whole entire book. The voice of Mary was done relatively well while the voice of Bess had it moments for me.... and no all these moments were of a positive nature.
Overall the book is able to serve up what you have mostly come to expect from Phillipa Gregory. But as a whole it seems to be lacking a little bit in terms of the storyline whilst the narration for me just made it all the worse in my vantage point. It's an 'OK' listen for me, but nothing to write home about.