With all the buzz surrounding this book (and the film based on it), I was skeptical about whether I would really enjoy it. I often find that a book with this much hype is a huge letdown....particularly if Hollywood then gets ahold of it to turn it into a feature film. But so many of my friends were talking about this story that I gave in and bought a copy of the book.
Although The Other Boleyn Girl is based on real characters, this is NOT a historically accurate book. It is, however, a very well written depiction of life in the court of King Henry VIII. The author creates characters that are interesting and engaging, and gives the reader glimpses into the fashions, customs and lifestyles of that day. We follow Mary Boleyn Carey as she is basically pimped out to the King by her family in the hopes of gaining power and wealth for the Boleyn clan. We also watch her interaction with her siblings, particularly her best friend/rival Anne.
Although I'm fairly sure that most people know how the story of Mary and Anne ends (if you don't know the story, you should've paid closer attention in History class!), this book kept me engrossed throughout its 661 pages. For me, the only downside to this book was the little voice in my head that kept reminding me that Mary is only a 14 year-old girl as the story begins. More than a little disgusting, as far as I'm concerned, whether it was the norm for the times or not!
All in all, I would certainly recommend this paperback equivalent of a chick flick....it was a great read!