The Mirror and the Light

Yours always
by Hilary Mantel | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780805096606 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 3/21/2020
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, March 21, 2020
I enjoyed Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and have been awaiting the publication of the third book with growing impatience. I'd pre-ordered this one and was very pleased when it arrived! (I'm listening to the book on unabridged-audio via Audible, but I wanted a text copy as well.)

Later: much as I wanted to like this book, it was something of a slog for me to get through. Some of that was due to the relentlessly grim tone; knowing Cromwell's historical fate didn't make it any easier for me to see how his foes are pressing in, his lapses in attention are leaving room for plots against him, and his persistent memories from his often-troubled past are preying on his mind. Oh, there are some lighter moments, and in general he's still on his game, but he didn't count on how easily one event might turn the king against him... (Historically, it's claimed that Henry regretted his decision about Cromwell almost immediately afterwards, blaming his noble advisors for costing him his most valuable minister.)

That wasn't the only problem I had with the book, though. It often seemed repetitive to me, all the more so in the audiobook version, as I couldn't easily skim those sections. (Looking back, I wish I'd ditched the audio and read the text; while the narrator wasn't bad, his choices of voice and accent for the different characters often seemed even more slow and deliberate than the text.) The author revisits many, many scenes from previous books as Cromwell recalls them, almost to the point where one need not read the two previous books at all. The action sped up considerably once Henry turned on Cromwell, but that was perilously near the end of the book.

I think the depictions of the tension in the political and religious factions at that time are admirable and all too clear, but not exactly upbeat - and the passages about poor Ann of Cleves and the miscommunications that resulted in Henry taking such an immediate dislike to her reveal how public those noble policy-matches could be. Definitely NOT a glorification of those costume-drama Tudor-setting tales...

[There's a TV Tropes page on the series, with comments on some of its stage and screen adaptations.]

Released 10 mos ago (5/7/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, 607 Chestnut St in Manchester, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book and the previous two volumes in the handsome Little Free Library outside the funeral parlor while on a road trip on this beautiful day. Hope someone enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2020 April Showers/May Flowers challenge. ***

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