Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
The latest Booker Prize-winner opens in 1527, as Henry VIII is trying to get rid of his wife of sixteen years, Katherine. He is interested in Anne Boleyn, a well-connected young woman at court who has kept him interested by refusing to consummate their relationship until they are married. Thomas Cromwell is the King’s man to move things along. Cromwell’s eye is on the main chance. “You don’t get on by being original. You don’t get on by being bright. You don’t get on by being strong. You get on by being a subtle crook.” Although society no longer burns people at the stake or beheads them, jockeying for political position and religious hysteria endure. The book’s appeal is not only in its oft-told story, but Mantel’s particular telling of the story. Humor and horror are close together—that is a characteristic of Mantel’s writing and what gives her narrative so much power.