This novel’s pacing was not as well established as the The Other Boleyn Girl. The switching between the three narrators dragged the book down. I saw some more weaknesses of Gregory’s writing in this one.
On the positives, I liked reading about Anne of Cleves and her character in history and in this story are very sympathetic. Many women in these novels are, but Anne in particular managed to escape the scaffold and be a friend to her momentary royal step children.
Gregory is also good at narrating from characters who are not the most clever. She really made Katherine Howard sound like a teenage idiot. It was understandable, but also a bit aggravating.
As for Jane Boleyn’s narration, Gregory attempted to make her at least somewhat mad. I could see where the writing was going but it felt clunky.
All the men in this book are not good except for maybe Anne’s ambassador Dr Harst. All the rest are either lecherous, vain, dangerous, or all of the above. I understand these are Feminist historical novels and it’s rather sad that all the men in these women’s lives were basically assholes. However, I do wonder if there are any decent men in Gregory’s universe of the Plantagent and Tudors!
I have two more Gregory novels. I will read them and dip my toes into the Plantagenet novels as well, but I am not sure how much longer I can take the melodrama.
Read March 2nd-12th, 2018.