Monday, 10 December 2012

Wolf Hall

I don't know about you, but I have a list of books I want to read and a list of books I feel I should read.

Wolf Hall has been at the top of the second pile for, well, actually it seems like forever.

But it's such a big book that its one I didn't want to have to cart around with me, so I've been putting it off.

It's been jeering at me from the top of the pile, even more so since Hilary Mantell won a second Booker prize for its sequel.

So, finally, I decided to take the plunge.

Wolf Hall is set during Henry VIII's reign in the period where he was trying to get his marriage to Katherine of Aragon annuled so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. It's a period of history I'm particularly interested in, so in theory it should be an engaging read.

But I have to confess, I'm struggling. I'm now at page 350 of this 600 page book and it has been an arduous journey. Perhaps I'm not literary enough but I find it hard to follow as it keeps jumping from present to the past and then back again and by the time I've worked out where I am, it's jumped again. The cast of characters is extensive and they too constantly change, or sometimes are called by their actual names and sometimes by the titles the King has given them in his court.

One of my favourite authors is Philippa Gregory and I never have a problem keeping up with her books, set in a similar period (as well as others). In fact I become so engrossed in them I can't put them down. But it's just not happening here, so perhaps its me.

I'm disappointed because I really wanted to like this book and keep hoping that I will get into it; that the second half will be better. But I'm beginning to doubt that it will happen.

Fingers crossed, but I'm determined to get to the end. I've invested so much time in it already, and I don't like being a quitter. But I am looking forward to reading something else. I think I'll chose something a lot lighter for my next read.

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