Gardner, Laurien. A Lady Raised High.
6 word synopsis: Henry disposes of Catherine and Anne.
We all know how this story begins and ends. In fact, we know most of the basic information along the way because Henry is still infamous for having had six wives: "Divorced, beheaded, died/ Divorced, beheaded, survived."
Yet his relationship with Anne Boleyn still fascinates. Actually, this novel is ostensibly about Frances Pierce, who becomes one of Anne's ladies and remains with her until the execution. Because of Frances' position in the court, her story is entangled with Anne --and with Anne's friends and enemies; so while Frances tells her story, she is also recording Anne's rise and fall.
For those unfamiliar with some of the political dynamics of this historical event, there is much information interwoven with Frances' story, but the novel lacks narrative weight and the characterization isn't as strong as it could be. My favorite novel about Anne is still Brief Gaudy Hour.
Fiction. Historical fiction. 2006. 284 pages.