WINNER OF THE 2009 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn.
The pope and most of Europe oppose him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition.
I confess that I did something I wouldn’t normally do… I watched the mini series before I had a chance to read the book. Normally when there is a series or movie that excites me which happens to be based on a book, I make a point of reading that book first. In this case though, I’m glad I watched the series first.
The book is written in the present tense, which works really well for this story, but there were times when I was a little confused… When I didn’t know if I was in Cromwell’s head or not and when not, whose point of view was I in? Having watched the mini series, I was able to work out most of the confusion based on what I’d seen.
One of the quotes in my copy promised that I would be unable to put the book down, but I found that it was remarkably easy to walk away. Fortunately, a few chapters in, the story did pick up and grip me a bit more. I was pleasantly surprised that although there were the usual changes for the translation to TV, most of the story had been faithfully reproduced on screen. The characters had been captured so well, that reading the book felt like revisiting the awesome series … a refreshing change from many adaptations!
I’m a self-confessed Tudor-holic and a quick look at my library will show that I collect any and every book I can find that talks about that period in history. I have stories about everyday people, right up to the role players at court and I am fascinated by how they all come together. Wolf Hall did not disappoint.
It was a fresh perspective on a story that I know only too well, filled with familiar characters and historical occurrences which helped to create a wonderful, 3 dimensional world. I can’t wait to read the other 2 books in the series.
I would definitely recommend it to fans of the Tudor period. It’s a fascinating read.
4 Hearts from me.
Until next time,