3 of 5 stars
I have a soft spot for all books about the English Tudor period. When I saw "The Boleyn Bride," I was intrigued to read the story of infamous Queen Anne's mother, Elizabeth Boleyn. What was the woman who gave birth to England's greatest queen like? What did she think of her daughter? Delving into the book with great anticipation, I was quickly disenchanted with the story. The prologue is endlessly long and I found myself skipping over description after description of poisonous plants in Elizabeth's once beloved garden. There was no doubt that Elizabeth regretted many things in her life, but to drone on and on about it nearly stopped me reading any further than these opening pages. A page or two would certainly have made the same point while weaving some of the other internal dialogue sprinkled throughout the story.
I certainly commend Ms. Purdy on her research, but Elizabeth is painted as a shallow, nasty and conceited young woman who cared for no one, but herself. The author hammers home the point over and over again the hatred Elizabeth felt for her husband and her indifference to her children. It's hard to feel sympathy for such a character. The book is a quick read, but in the end, I think the author missed an opportunity to bring Elizabeth Boleyn to life. Not my favorite book about the Tudors.