11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A flawless and exciting version of Anne's life,
This review is from: The Kiss of the Concubine: A story of Anne Boleyn (Kindle Edition)
I'm so excited by this book, it's difficult to know where to start.
The Kiss of the Concubine is written in the first person, present tense - two things I normally consider a 'turn off' - and yet the author handles the narration so skillfully that it becomes natural voice of the novel. The reader is privy to Anne's innermost thoughts and feelings, and in so doing we gain a different insight into her motivation.
To start with Anne is insecure about her looks and only attracts Henry's attention in a case of mistaken identity - from that initial contact it is her intelligence and wit that attract him.
The version of Anne created by Ms Arnopp is believable, sympathetic and most importantly - totally plausible. We discover a woman who knows her own mind but is no harpie, a woman in love who desires a family of her own, who is pressured into producing princes. I loved the interpretation of Anne as being in love with Henry but also afraid of losing his love. Their famous spats and quarrels are wonderfully written, on Anne's part motivated by crippling jealousy that the man she loves has strayed. But Anne is no blind fool, she can reconcile the dissolution of the monasteries because of the corruption within them, and when Henry siphons the wealth into his own coffers his lack of humanitarianism triggers the fateful series of events leading to Anne's eventual downfall.
I am no history scholar, so I can't comment on the factual veracity within The Kiss of the Concubine, but I can heartily recommend the book as a thought-provoking and wonderfully engrossing read.