Hello everyone! I’m back! (for a bit.) I can’t believe the last time I posted on here was August 2014; the time has flown by. The reason for my online-absence is primarily university. At the end of August, when I received my a-level results and confirmed my offer to study chemistry at Oxford, I was sent holiday work and reading to do – this took up quite a lot of my time and obviously replaced pleasure reading. Then I went off to uni in October 2014 and lived 9 weeks of intense study and fun and came home in December completely exhausted. I did have a really good time and I have enjoyed this past term even more. Over Christmas I did manage to do some reading despite having lots of work and revision to do but didn’t quite get round to posting about the books I’d read. Next thing I knew I was back to uni so that was the end of that for a while. I’m back for Easter now and again I hope to get some reading done in between work and revision…and I hope some of you are still around to read my posts! I’ve been keeping up with the blogs I follow since new posts are always emailed to me but I will definitely try to be more active over the next few weeks. Thank you for still being here (if you are!) and let’s get on with some thoughts about Wolf Hall:
Author: Hilary Mantel
Date Finished: 28/12/14
Re-read? : First time read
Challenges? : No
Overall: 4/5 – rather good
There has been so much hype surrounding Wolf Hall over the past few years, I was slightly apprehensive to read it in case it didn’t live up to expectation. It’s the first historical-fiction novel I’ve read so that was nice and I’ve always loved the tudors as a historical period to study.
The story is definitely gripping in places but sometimes I found myself confused by who everyone was and definitely puzzled by who’s ‘side’ people were actually on! I think this is more my fault than the books because I started it in August, read a bit in September, about 5 pages over October and November and then finished it in December…it’s not really the type of book to spread out like that! Anyway, the plot is enthralling for another reason too – I knew the bare bones of some of the storylines just from general knowledge so it was really interesting to have them fleshed out with characters, detail and context.
The characters are mostly quite unpleasant I think! Mantel does a very very good job of creating a many-layered and complex Cromwell so you never truly feel like you understand him (which is exciting). The setting and descriptive writing is really good too, but again spreading the book out so thinly over so many months does not really suit its style.
I’m excited to read Bring Up the Bodies and the third book in the series when it is published and I will also try to watch the TV series properly – I only managed to see parts of some of the episodes because it aired while I was at university. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to you but I also reiterate that it’s not really one to read a page of here and there over a very long period of time!