October 1, 2011

The Other Boleyn Girl

By Philippa Gregory

Kristin: I really enjoyed reading about the rule and reign of King Henry the 8th. I watched the mini series of the Tudors before reading this book so I was able to envision a lot of the characters in my mind throughout the book. I really enjoyed the writing style of this author-sometimes reading a historical novel can be dull and boring but Gregory did an excellent job keeping you engaged. The rivalry of the 2 sisters will keep you entertained-there isn't much that will stand between them and their rise to power.This was a pretty big book but I found myself not wanting to put it down. Even if you aren't very interested in English history I would still recommend this book-it's a great love story set in an intriguing historical time.

Amy: What an absolutely fascinating story. I was at first hesitant to read the book because I have seen the movie before (and because it is 600 pages long) but it was by far one of the best and fun and quick reads in a long time. I remember hearing about King Henry in school and how he kept killing his wived because they wouldn't provide him with a son so it was kind of cool to read about it like you were living among it. I found it fascinating with all the research Gregory did and how she built a most likely happened story from facts around the time. It was like you were living in the castles, friends with all the right people to hear all the drama and in the middle of it all. I would highly recommend this period drama (and already have to multiple people!)

The Help

By Kathryn Stockett

Kristin:  I thought this was a great book. I loved that the author tried to write it from the perspective of a black woman in the South. I was interested to read that the author grew up in Jackson Mississippi and saw on a first hand basis how different you were treated based on the color of your skin. The amount of love that the "help" had for the children that they took care of was so heart warming. It was sad that the white parents missed out on so much of their children's lives because they didn't want to be bothered with daily tasks of child rearing. I found myself as I'm sure everyone else did as routing for Skeeter and wanting to fight Hilly myself! I also felt a connection with Aibileen and Minny. Minny was sassy, but deep down she always did what was best for other maids and her children. Aibileen reminded me of a wonderful woman that truly loved the children she cared for. You could see how much of an impact she had on Mae Mobley.  Having lived in both the North and the South I was able to see how different Southern woman really are! The Southern way of life is truly worlds apart from anything else I have ever experienced-more so in the days of the civil rights movement than present day. This book brought many laughs and at times heartache for how poorly some white people treated the black people. It was a delight to read and I would highly recommend reading this book. Can't wait to go see the movie now!

Amy: Is set in the slavery south. It involves love, maids, tradition, hatred, newspapers, college, death, rights. It sheds light on things that you and I (I am sure) take for granted every day. It helped me realize that people are always hurting out there even if they put a smile on and some people are just plain mean- there is no reason to stay friends with these people even if you are supposed to. I now practice something in my own life that before I never did because of this book- a prayer journal. Please do not be mistaken, this book is not all about prayer- it is just one woman's way to get through the day. This book has such a feel about it that I can't explain and it leaves you feeling powerful to be who you are and to appreciate and respect those around you.