The most recent book that I finished reading - is simply fascinating. "The Other Boleyn Girl" is the mesmerizing tale of the Courts in England in the 16th century. The details of the proceedings, the fanfare, just the everyday dawn to dusk (and beyond!) activities of the court have been potrayed so vividly, one can almost imagine the richness and the extravagence of the times.
The fact that the novel is based on true research of the Boleyn family interested me immensely. Did all this really happen ? Were women that powerful and yet helpless in those times ? There are paradoxes in every paragraph. The author Philippa Gregory has been both acclaimed and criticized for the book. Some say that she distorted the truth, while others claim that the unknown Mary Boleyn has her story told at last instead of the famous sister Anne.
Just as a book without considering its percentage of truth and fiction, it is an extremely pleasurable read. Not easy to put down once I started, I highly recommend it. The characters are very well defined, very articulate. The language is beautiful and self depicts every scene, every fight, every seduction. But did Mary really long to raise her kids in the farm rather than the palace ? Did Anne and George have an incest relationship ? Could Mary's husband be so patient and tolerant with her (family's) pursuits ? Was the King so gullible? One wonders .....
Some more info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Other_Boleyn_Girl
I also learnt that a movie has already been made and due to be released next year.