I’ve decided to do a book review or two a month on the blog. Let me know if you like reading these or if you want me to stick to the usual stuff!

The Other Queen June 14 2012

Over the weekend I finished reading The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory. I really liked the first four books in the series, and I wasn’t disappointed in this one.

I started out not knowing much about Mary Queen of Scots. I have to admit I looked her up on Wikipedia to get a little info before I started reading it.

I think part of the reason why I liked this series was all the drama. I tend to think that all the stuff celebrities get in trouble for these days is fairly recent, but really people have been cheating, calling names, and telling rumours for hundreds of years. It’s nothing new. The Tudors and those at court with them were particularly good at all that stuff.

I’ve talked to a few people who have also read this book, and they seem to love either Mary or Bess and hate the other one. I found myself liking one and then changing my mind and liking the other one at different points in the book. I found Mary’s constant plotting annoying and wondering why she couldn’t just behave herself, and at other times I thought Beth was selfishly obsessed with her wealth (or lack thereof).

One theme throughout the book, and even through the whole series was how most women in that time period had next to no say in what happened. They weren’t in control of their lives – other people were always making the decisions for them. It makes me pretty thankful I wasn’t born into the Tudor court.

One thing I didn’t like about the book was how it felt like George went from being in love with Mary to not caring about her at all. I know Gregory didn’t make up what happened – it is historical fiction after all – but I didn’t feel like someone could go from one extreme to the other as fast as he did. It wasn’t very believable to me. It didn’t make sense.

All in all though, I really enjoyed this book. Now that I’ve read the whole series, I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the Tudors.

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory