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You never know with audiobooks! Sometimes an author can be one of your absolute favorites (and Erickson is one of mine) but poor narration or a slow plot can make listening to a book sheer torture. Thankfully this audiobook was a really pleasant listening experience. Susan Lyons did a very good job and the book held my attention from beginning to end. This book is a little gritty at parts, just a warning to those faint of heart. I'm not squeamish, but in the beginning there were a few parts that described the torture and killing of protestants that I kind of fast forwarded through! Overall an interesting and insightful book. I liked it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I'm a fan of historical fiction; I appreciate that the genre isn't all about sticking to the facts; it's never intended to be a history lesson. I can appreciate a story in which the characters are portrayed far differently than common understanding dictates; this story does that, with it's fairly negative portrayal of Queen Elizabeth. I'm fine with that.
That said, this book just hit all the wrong notes with me. It's not the author's version of history that I disagree with - it's her writing style. The protagonist, Lettie Knollys, is grating and annoying; she prattles on endlessly about how stunningly beautiful she is, and how all the other females in the book (including the queen) treat her badly because they're jealous of her.
Because of the way the book moves through time in huge batches, you never get a sense of anything else about Lettie, except that she is, by her own account, really lovely. There isn't much dialogue, and what dialogue there is comes across as overly dramatic.
If you're a fan of Philippa Gregory, you'll probably be very disappointed with this book. I actually bought it because the narrator, Susan Lyons, did the narration for "The Other Boleyn Girl", which is also a first-person story about Mary Boleyn, who is Lettie's grandmother. I thought it would be cool and interesting to follow the fictionalized version of the family, as it were. Terrible mistake. Susan Lyons is this book's only redeeming characteristic.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
As a fan of period pieces, I was hoping to enjoy this book and I did but not 100%. The story was told well and kept a good pace, but some of the characters did not seem to have sufficient motivation for their deeds and at some parts, it seemed the same story over and over again about the rivalry and not much more. Yes this is the title to the book but I would have enjoyed a bit more richness to the details and environment to get the imagination going. I still enjoyed it, but it did not hold my attention as much as other similar style books.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful