Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A Lady Raised High
I'm embarrassed to admit it took me months to finish A Lady Raised High by Laurien Gardner. I think I started it in June. Clearly it was not the most riveting book I've ever read. I think a big part of that was that I've already read a lot of books about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. I'm a little obsessed actually. I've read probably 10 books and have watched several movies about them, along with The Tudors. So, I know the story already. It all started with Phillipa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl (the book was a lot better than the movie, as usual) and I moved on to histories by Alison Weir. So it's not entirely the author's fault I wasn't that interested.
But, I think another reason why I didn't stay interested is that it was told from the rather boring character of Frances, maid to Anne. Frances is plucked out of obscurity by Anne before she becomes queen after protecting her from angry villagers. She's raised high to being one of the Queen's ladies. You're supposed to care about Frances and her love story as well as Anne's, but Frances is stupid, boring, and unfailing devoted to Anne. She can't see Anne's fault and puts her own life in danger needlessly to try to help Anne. Which normally would be brave, but just seemed stupid in her case, because she was so naive about the whole thing and couldn't see that the court wanted to convict Anne.
Overall I would skip this one. Go for the Phillipa Gregory or try Jean Plaidy. Plaidy's writing can be a little harder to get through, but she's historically accurate and still writes a good story. Although, I'm still considering reading Plain Jane by Gardner since I already own it (bought them at a library book sale), so I guess that tells you it wasn't completely terrible. I suppose if I resell both of them to Half-Price Books though, I'll make my $.50 back and it's necessary to read it...