Friday, March 7, 2014

The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy


Back Cover Blurb

From carefree young woman to disillusioned bride, the dazzling lady who would become mother and grandmother to two of history's most infamous queens, has a fascinating story all her own. . .

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. . .


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.