9 September 2013

Bring Up The Bodies

 Author: Hilary Mantel
Series: Thomas Cromwell trilogy, book 2
Year published: 2012
Pages: 482
Time It Took To Read: Two days 
I have had a truly awful couple of weeks. I came back from holiday to discover a mouse had taken up residence. I am absolutely phobic about mice - proper hyperventilating, sobbing, vomiting, petrified phobic. We didn't really get anywhere with sorting them out til Thursday, when the exterminator came out and on Saturday we got a cat, so I finally feel able to relax at home. I can't tell you what a mess I've been. Constantly on edge, crying all the time, severe insomnia, not wanting to be here but having no choice because my eldest has started school so I can't just bugger off. My family (extended and immediate) have been brilliant, giving us somewhere to stay when I couldn't handle it anymore. But now, I can actually sit at home without jumping a mile when a fly buzzes, so I got some reading done.

I ordered Bring Up The Bodies immediately after finishing Wolf Hall, and am gutted that Hilary Mantel hasn't written the third book yet. These books are fabulous. Immersive, detailed, realistic and nuanced dialogue and beautiful characterisation. If you're aware of the circumstances surrounding the death of Anne Boleyn, so much the better, and I think you really need to read Wolf Hall first to get the best out of the book, but even as a stand alone volume, it is amazing. Thomas Cromwell remains the central figure, though you get to know other characters a lot better.
I have been and bought more Mantel today, but suspect I will be re-reading David Starkey's Tudor histories over the next few days to remind myself of the historical truth behind these astonishing books.

Book count: 41/50

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