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At sixteen, Elizabeth Howard envisions a glorious life for herself as lady-in-waiting to the future queen, Catherine of Aragon. But when she is forced to marry Thomas Boleyn, a wealthy commoner, Elizabeth is left to stagnate in the countryside while her detested husband pursues his ...
At sixteen, Elizabeth Howard envisions a glorious life for herself as lady-in-waiting to the future queen, Catherine of Aragon. But when she is forced to marry Thomas Boleyn, a wealthy commoner, Elizabeth is left to stagnate in the countryside while her detested husband pursues his ambitions. There, she raises golden girl Mary, moody George, and ugly duckling Anne—while staving off boredom with a string of admirers. Until Henry VIII takes the throne. . .
When Thomas finally brings his highborn wife to London, Elizabeth indulges in lavish diversions and dalliances—and catches the lusty king's eye. But those who enjoy Henry's fickle favor must also guard against his wrath. For while her husband's machinations bring Elizabeth and her children to the pinnacle of power, the distance to the scaffold is but a short one—and the Boleyn family's fortune may be turning. . .
Praise for the novels of Brandy Purdy
"Recommended for readers who can't get enough of the Tudors and have devoured all of Philippa Gregory's books." —Library Journal on The Boleyn Wife
"Purdy wonderfully reimagines the behind-the-scenes lives of the two sisters." —Historical Novel Reviews on The Tudor Throne
Posted March 4, 2014
Reviewed by Cheryl Schopen for Readers' Favorite
Brandy Purdy writes from the perspective of Elizabeth Boleyn, the mother of the infamous Anne Boleyn, who was Henry VIII’s second wife, in her latest book, The Boleyn Bride. As we learn more and more about Elizabeth, Anne’s attitude, behavior, and ultimate fate become a little clearer. Elizabeth, by her own words, was not a very good mother, especially to Anne. The most important thing to her is appearance and beauty; always treating Anne like the ugly duckling of the family, she had no hope in Anne and assumed she would end up a nun. In addition to her lack of maternal skills, spoiled Elizabeth ends up in a loveless marriage with many lovers on the side, one in particular who she seemed to care deeply for. She tells the story as she is reminiscing and grieving for the children she has lost. We all know the sordid details of Henry VIII and Anne’s relationship, but Anne’s mother, Elizabeth, has a story of her own, which is equally interesting and enthralling.
As someone who is absolutely fascinated with anything Tudor-related, I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw the name Boleyn. I am a huge fan of the television series The Tudors and of the author Philippa Gregory, and I can honestly say that Brandy Purdy does not disappoint. Even from the point of view of an unlikable character, I surprisingly enjoyed this perspective that isn’t commonly written about. Though Elizabeth has many flaws and has made mistakes, she is looking back on her life and realizes that she should have done things a lot differently. If she had been more loving and nurturing to all of her children, perhaps their lives would have gone down different routes. I disliked Elizabeth throughout much of this story, but I also both pitied her and respected her. However, I did not have mixed feelings about the book itself. It was brilliantly written and had an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the notorious Boleyn family. The Boleyn Bride is filled with suspense, sorrow, ambition, love, and betrayal. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves the history of this time period as much as I do. I cannot wait to read Purdy’s other books.
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2014
I always look forward to reading books by Brandy Purdy, not for their historical accuracy, but for their entertainment value. As an author, Brandy is not afraid to push a story to its limits with her own slant or interpretation of history. Historical truests might be disappointed, but for readers who simply want a gripping good read, her books definitely make the mark.
In the Boleyn Bride, Brandy takes on Elizabeth Howard, the mother of Anne and George Boleyn, who both lost their heads at the wrath of King Henry VIII. Little is known about Elizabeth Boleyn except for the rumors that she was once mistress herself to the notorious king, was beautiful, and had numerous affairs. Ms Purdy weaves a great story about a selfish woman with little love for her husband, and only a passing interest in her children. Filled with regrets, the main character looks back on her life, and the deep pain she suffered at their deaths and those who caused it. There are brilliant descriptions of the royal court, clothing, food, and lavish entertainments. The novel is very well plotted, and written in a very strong first person narrative that is both poignant and which deeply evokes the protagonist’s personal thoughts. The book held my interest from start to finish and I loved all the rich descriptions, especially her affair with the famous doll-maker, Remi. Another excellent novel by Brandy Purdy
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 6, 2014
THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :
Naturally, one of my favorite genre, and I wasn't disappointed by reading this novel. Brandy Purdy has a stream of good books to choose from. All of them are excellent. She writes like a historian with the captivating tone of a storyteller. There are few who can really pull this off as well as she does. From the first paragraphs, I was caught in her web of intrigue and couldn't pull myself loose. This is a book you will thoroughly enjoy even if you think you've already read all about the Boleyns.
I can tell you, Ms Purdy has found a way to let you know you haven't!
This book is told mostly in narrative form. It made me feel I was sitting at the fireside of a castle with Elizabeth Boleyn and hearing her tales of her daughters' and her own life. It holds a new perspective on the famous Boleyn girls; yes, but it also gives us a perspective of the mother who raised them and often neglected them. It was mesmerizing. If you've always wondered as I have where they got their backbone, beauty and charm...this is a novel that explains much of that. We also see the seductions of men and the English court from another perspective.
Brandy Purdy writes with a veteran's hand. She is well-versed in the times, the settings and the nuances of the Tudor age. All this makes her story come to life. If you want to slip into a season of Tudor England, all you have to do is enter her book for a few hours and you're there.
I loved this novel! I think you who read historical fiction regularly will too.
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Posted February 28, 2014
This book is an account on the life of Elizabeth Boleyn, who was the mother of George, Mary and Anne Boleyn.. It was interesting reading a story from her perspective. So little is known about Elizabeth, since she was such a minor role in the story. I was disappointed at how shallow and indifferent she seemed. It was really hard, if not impossible, to feel any sympathy for her character, and she seemed to have no redeeming qualities. That being said, it was still a somewhat enjoyable book.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.