I took advantage of a "cold" day and finished off another short book that I had lying around here. I'm pretty darned excited about my reading roll so far! Fingers crossed it's not a fluke. Here's the review:
Even though I am very familiar with the Tudor period, I was surprised at the amount of historical information packed into this young adult novel about Anne Boleyn. Told from the perspective of Elinor Valjean, maid to first Queen Catherine of Aragon and then to Anne Boleyn, we see the rise and fall of one of history's most notorious women, and it's not a very flattering light in which she's cast.
Elinor makes no bones about her feelings for Anne; she's on Catherine's side and only serves Anne because Anne likes her (presumably for her musical abilities). Opposed to Anne from the get-go, there's seldom a nice word said about her in this "diary" that Elinor keeps. While Elinor herself grows up and marries, she keeps her gaze on both the wicked Anne and the saintly Catherine (through her mother's and sister's continued employ in Catherine's household). Elinor reports mostly on the major events of the times, and only toward the end does her opinion of Anne alter as she watches the queen face her accusers and death with dignity.
This book is highly readable, cut into easily digestible, sporadic diary entries. If Elinor is very opposed to Anne, that can be forgiven as the book is seen through her eyes. I did grow a bit weary of her continued reinforcement of the stereotypes of both Anne and Henry, and this really doesn't offer new take on the story. Still, it would be a good entry into history for a young adult as it does tell the tale from a generally interesting viewpoint.