So I’m not going to do a proper review, I’m just going to say some of my thoughts on it. It’s way too complicated to write a proper review!
I’d been seeing this everywhere on bookstagram, especially with the release of the final book, The Mirror & the Light. I love historical fiction, especially those set in the Tudor period so this book was definitely on my want to read list. Then another bookstagrammer added me to a read along/buddy read with some others so I quickly went on the Book Depository website and it arrived on the 1st of May when our read was due to start! Our aim was to read 63 pages a day throughout May (some of them are reading the whole trilogy which means they’ll be finished by the end of May.)
Before we started a few had said they’d been put off before from reviews of the writing style and how confusing it was. From the first few pages I realised exactly what they meant. The story is all from Thomas Cromwell’s point of view and is written in third person. Which would be fine but he is constantly referred to as “he”, not Thomas, not Cromwell, just “he”. When he is on his own, again, it is fine, but when there are other characters you just get a page full of “he”s and you never quite know which “he” it is. Occasionally Mantel will write another character name but not often. One of the others in our group did say to just presume that if it says “he” in some action to presume it is Cromwell, which did help!
I found in the first half I was mostly skim reading it and picking up the general gist of what was happening. I could only read it on my own in silence (thank goodness we have had lots of sunny garden reading days!) so that I could concentrate properly otherwise I wouldn’t have taken it in. However, in the second half I did find I was more used to the writing style and was starting to enjoy it a bit more and was picking up on the tension and emotions more.
The others in the group are going on to read the sequels but I’m going to stop with this one unless I can find them in the library at some point in the future.
Have you read Wolf Hall? What did you think?