posted by Josee Corrigan
This holiday I have taken the time to sit around and read. Lucky for me, I received two loaner books just in time for the break - The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I flashed through Gregory's novel in a matter of days; it is an engrossing tale of the lives of Mary, Anne and George Boleyn, three Boleyn siblings attending the court of Henry VIII. We know the story of Anne, who met the chopping block within a few years of her brief time as Henry's second wife; alternately, this book explores the story of her rise and fall from the perspective of Mary, Anne's younger sister. Gregory's novel details the life at Henry's turbulent court: the intrigues and the scandals, his separation from the Roman Church to annul his marriage to Queen Katherine and marry Anne, his obsession with providing a male heir to England, and the extreme ambition driving the Howard family (and their daughters) into the King's court and bed to further their status in 16th Century English society. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the sequels to this book - The Queen's Fools, The Virgin's Lover, The Constant Princess, The Boleyn Inheritance, and The Other Queen.
On an entirely different, futuristic track, I am halfway through Margaret Atwood's newest novel, The Year of the Flood. I can't say I love it, but I cannot stop reading it! It is quietly creepy and ultimately apocalyptic. Like the prequel, Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood weaves a wickedly scary tale of moral decrepitude and the general demise of humanity and the world as we know it. Most frightening are similarities between Atwood's fictional world and our existence today, for example the "Corps" compounds - gated communities reserved for the rich and corrupt- and the "pleeblands" - the dangerous suburbs where illegal trafficking in women, animals, and drugs, among other things, occurs. These are just two rather bland examples where comparison only begins. Don't get me started on the gene splicing, mystery meat, sex-slave trade, environmental degradation for capitalist gain, religious extremism, and political corruption that are hallmarks of Atwood's book. Definitely worth reading. Find it in hardcover now at Jennie's.