Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, Henry Holt and Company, 2009, 532 pp
Wolf Hall was one of the best books to come out in 2009. It made my top favorites list and won the Booker Prize as well as a raft of other honors. It is historical fiction but this is not your mom's historical fiction. It is smart and goes deeply into the psychology and motives of its famous historical figures. Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn and Thomas More have been written about ad nauseum, yet Mantel brings much that is new to the table.
The paperback edition will be released in August. I am currently engaged in reading all the earlier nine novels by this incredible writer. I reviewed Wolf Hall for BookBrowse Magazine last November. The link is now available for nonsubscribers.
My review begins thus:
Religion, power, politics, money and sex-key elements of human life-are all on full display in Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize winning novel. With judicious helpings of period detail, she presents an appealing portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the man who managed to free King Henry VIII from the Catholic Church and his first queen, Katherine of Aragon, allowing Henry to enter into a second marriage with Anne Boleyn... (read the rest of the review here.)
(Wolf Hall is currently available in hardcover by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore and will be available on the shelf in paperback in August.)