Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Personal Copy
In Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel brings her readers into the ruthless court of the famous Henry VIII. Mantel portray Thomas Cromwell and allows him to tell his story through the first person narrative. Thomas Cromwell a self made man, who rose from being abused by his blacksmith father to being the man standing beside Henry. Henry was focused and determined to annul his marriage to Katherine and marry Anne Boleyn. A young beautiful girl would bring no treaty, no land and no money to the crown. Despite his advisors wanting to marry him to a french princess, Henry had his own goals in mind. Anne Boleyn would be his wife and he would stop at nothing to ensure she would be his. Although, his legal team are not sure how to present Anne Boleyn as a credible match. Thomas Cromwell had a huge influence over Henry and through 'Wolf Hall' we are brought behind the scenes with Henry's legal team.
Wolf Hall is a large novel, meticulously researched and very well written. There are countless books written about the Tudors and I've never read anything like this before. The style is very distinct and enjoyable. However, at times it is confusing. I don't recommend this book if you don't have a firm knowledge about the Tudors. There are many Thomas' however, that is the fault of Tudor England. At times I had trouble with the flow of the novel. I believe it is due to that large size, I did try to pace myself but found myself not wanting to pick it up. It's the type of novel you can't pick up for 10 minutes you really need to devote time to reading it.
This book has many mixed reviews and I do see both perspectives. I think the style was different for many readers. Although, I did enjoy the novel it is not one of my favorite reads. I think Mantel is an amazing writer but I had a hard time remaining interested in the book. I kept wondering who 'he' was. I felt like I hardly ever came into contact with Anne or Henry. Main characters in Tudor England have minimal roles in the novel. The book reads more as a dialogue between the legal team. If you're wondering if you should read this, I recommend trying it. There were times when I loved the book, and other times I felt like I would never finish. If you do read it, pace yourself.