September 12, 2010

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

So, this is my first post, and I am going to start with a book I read recently that I loved. Pillars of the Earth is the story of a cathedral being built in the fictitious town of Kingsbridge. The story follows many characters, including the Prior of the monastery, the original master builder and his family, a young noblewoman, a young nobleman, and many more characters. The story follows all of these characters, and shows how they interact. The book spans, I believe, thirty or forty years.

I loved how this book handled the many characters and long time frame, and how well it develops its characters so that they are all very real. They all have flaws and fears, but they also have good qualities as well.

This book is, admittedly, not light reading. The copy I read, a smallish paperback, had 992 pages. There is also a "sequel" that takes place two hundred years later, and follows some of the descendants of the characters of the first book, but I am only a few pages in, so I can't say anything about it yet.

The Other Boylen Girl by Phillipa Gregory

I love this book. It is full of small factual errors, but they all support the story. This book Is about Mary Boylen, sister to Anne Boylen, Henry VIII' s second wife, and his mistress. She catches his attention, and falls in love with him. She is pushed by her family to become his mistress, and she is willing to do that (after a short moral dilemma about her husband), but her family wants her to keep him, which was very difficult because he was like a spoiled kid, always wanting something new.

This book is a little long, but well worth it. There is also a sequel called The Boylen Inheritance.