Customer Reviews


30 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Expected to hate it but actually loved it!
When this book was chosen by my historical novel book group, and introduced with an explanation of Suzannah Dunn's decision to write historical novels in 21st century language, I expected to dislike it intensely, and almost didn't get beyond the first couple of pages, which I found confusing, but persevered because I'd actually bought the book and it seemed a shame to...
Published 2 months ago by Debbie Young

versus
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A weird perspective
Suzannah Dunn tries two very interesting approaches to her fictionalisation of the last years of Katherine Parr's life. Firstly, she tells the whole tale through the eyes of someone else; someone who, for the purposes of Dunn's take on the story, is remote from the real goings-on in the Queen's mind, bedroom or life. So it always seems as if we are looking at the story...
Published on 16 Oct 2007 by daisyrock


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1.0 out of 5 stars dreadful, 27 July 2013
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
I have continued reading this drivel in the hope that eventually it might improve - no luck. I don't really understand why the author chose "The Sixth Wife" as the title. Mistakenly, I expected to find out more about the life of Katherine Parr but in actual fact she is virtually one of the minor characters. More time is devoted to Duchess 'Cathy' and her fictional affair with Thomas Seymour. The modern language is irritating, surely it is not necessary to try to drag these Tudor characters into the 21st century. Jean Plaidy and Philippa Gregory, for example, manage to keep the Tudor 'tone' without using the language of that century and are a far better read. A total waste of time and money in my opinion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Whyever did I buy this book, 30 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
It must have been because at the time I was devouring all kinds of books about Henry VIII and his reign. Anyhow, I am at page 105 and am almost throwing it out. This Catherine Willoughby, the narrator of the story, sort of claims to be open-minded and forward-thinking. In this book she is portrayed as being suspicious, jealous, opinionated, prejudiced and narrow-minded. And whaddayaknow, she is the only one who finds out that Parr is pregnant after about three months. And this in a household of hundreds of people. Hard to believe she was Catherine Parr's best friend. I have read some of Phillippa Gregory's books, of which I found "The red Queen" rather silly, but this one beats it all. I'll keep on reading it, hoping it might get better. I'll get back to you in 24 hours.

In the meantime, if you want to know about Henry VIII's court, do buy Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hillary Mantel, even though it takes some time to get used to her grammar and syntax.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable..., 2 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
This book had so much potential - I read the first chapter and thought it was okay, not amazing but okay. Unfortunately what started out as an interesting enough book soon developed into an overly sexual and trashy book. I felt it developed into more of a romance novel than a historical novel. I never finished it and now consider it as a waste of money. I thought the idea was very god but it was dreadfully written and very unrelatable! DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A poor effort at historical fiction, 29 Sep 2007
By 
Customer (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
I read this book on a very long flight. Had I been reading it at home, I'd likely have chucked it half way through. I had nothing else to read, though, so slogged onwards. It offers a few historical facts and a few improbable suppositions. Nowhere do the characters seem to come to life, as is so necessary in historical novels. I'm no advocate of 'prithee' and 'forsooth', but the use of modern English in it, particularly some very current slang, is incongruous and annoying. My whole impression was that the conversations and scenes had been inflated and stretched out to make a novel out of what was really no more than a short story. Not an interestinng one at that; not a book that would leave the reader entertained or enlightened or wanting to know more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most disappointing, 18 Oct 2007
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
I tried to get into this book on numerous occassions but have now given up and chucked it in the recyling bin to end up its life as something more exciting. I am an avid reader of historical novels especially the Tudor period. Personally I did not like the modern twist Ms Dunn has taken with this book. If curious about this book then borrow it from the Library instead. Sadly disappointing...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern and oblique look at Tudor sexual politics, 26 April 2010
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
Like her The Confession of Katherine Howard, Dunn takes a sideways look at Katherine Parr, her marriage to Thomas Seymour, and the sexual rumours about Elizabeth's girlhood.

Be warned, Dunn deliberately 'modernises' Tudor England so that people speak as contemporaries and everyone is known by a nickname: 'Kate' Parr, for example, or 'Cathy' Brandon. Many reviewers here clearly hated this, but Dunn herself has spoken about the way she wants to reveal the people behind the 'history' and so made this decision to allow them to speak as we do. Given that we have no record of conversations from this period other than literary imaginings, and the plethora of nicknames used at this time, I didn't have a problem with this but many might.

The well-known stories are told through Cathy Brandon (the widow of Charles, Duke of Suffolk) who is Kate's best friend, and becomes personally involved in Kate's own marriage, so that the stories of Kate herself and Elizabeth are told obliquely rather than full on, which I liked.

The book becomes a little confused towards the end where it seems there are too many sub-plots in play which muddy the narrative somewhat. But overall this is an interesting book which brings us very close to Tudor women.

Dunn, I think, is an interesting writer who turns familiar 'history' into proper novels with their own internal logic. They are imaginative re-creations rather than historical re-tellings and might stretch but don't contradict the historical record. For me, her characters are real people not just shells which contain their historical stories. This is certainly not a traditional historical novel so if that's what you're looking for then you might be disappointed - but I really enjoyed it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An inaccurate, badly written story of Katherine Parr, 24 Sep 2007
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
I hated everything about this book. It was terribly inaccurate and badly written. It was written with a modern twist, which makes it unbelievable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hated This Book, 17 April 2009
By 
Mrs. Judith Lugg "Judith Lugg" (Wolverhampton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
It is VERY unusual for me to say that I hated a book, but this book IS awful - very peculiarly written in a kind of half jokey style - not at all in keeping with the chosen subject.

I only read the first chapter as I just was unable to take the 'oddness'.

What a shame, it could have been a whole lot better in a more literal style and IF the research had been undertaken in a correct manner. There appears, even in the one chapter I read, to be a few anomalies in the light of what is definitely known about Katherine.

I have read many books about Katherine Parr, Jean Plaidy's being the first one. Sadly, this book has a very long way to go to catch up with that lady!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
I enyoy book about tudor times another good book
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 9 May 2008
By 
D Wildsmith (Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sixth Wife (Paperback)
This book has to be the worst book I have read. The characterisation and dialogue was poor and the story felt very disjointed and pointless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Sixth Wife
The Sixth Wife by Suzannah Dunn (Paperback - 6 Aug 2007)
£6.85
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews