The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“This is Henry of England!…This is a man who has been the death of three wives and is now building the scaffold for a fourth! There are no guarantees. He is a murderer. If you put me in his bed, I am a dead woman.”
“Those people like my grandmother, who are so free with their insults and their slaps, who say that it is a tremendous honor and a fine step up for a ninny like me, might well consider that a fool can be jumped up, but a fool can also be thrown down; and who is going to catch me then? “
“‘The clerk’s pen is poised; I can feel the words in my dry mouth. It is over. She is ruined, he is a dead man, I am on the brink of betrayal: again.”
A regal, savvy woman who had queenship down; a vain, flirtatious pinhead just asking to be a stepstool for someone else’s climb to the top; and a jealous, grasping woman scorned; all played out in the looming shadow of the Tower of London. The multiple-POV is done well here with good juxtaposition and good tension among two of Henry VIII’s wives and one lady-in-waiting. I was pulled right along even though I already knew who lives and who gets the axe. Excellent fictional take on Tudor history.