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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize Winner of the 2012 Costa Book of the Year Award The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp in…

Bring Up the Bodies

by Hilary Mantel

Overall Book Review:

“I am already fully employed, and more than fully, it is no small enterprise, to bring down a queen of England”

                                  — Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies

King Henry VIII is still the ever-demanding monarch. Thomas Cromwell is still the King’s right-hand man, carrying out every royal command. Now Henry wants out of his three year marriage to Anne Boleyn, and Cromwell must make it happen…

Witty, smart and often irreverent in dialogue and dealings, Bring Up the Bodies is as good, if not better, than Wolf Hall. Award-winning author HilaryMantel briefly summaries Cromwell’s previous work before plunging into an intense and detailed storyline regarding the unraveling of Queen Anne. Mantel effortlessly shows the evolution of Cromwell’s complex character, continually twisting my thoughts and opinions about this self-made hero.Unlike its predecessor, Bring Up the Bodies covers a brief period of time, making it much shorter in page length. This is deliciously rich historical fiction and most deserving of its honors. 

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 23 religious exclamations, 4 mild obscenities, 1 religious profanity, 31 derogatory names, 1 scatological word, 1 anatomical term, 3 f-word derivatives

Violence/Gore:  Several verbal threats; multiple reports of violence and hangings; a fire destroys property; a character is struck; prisoners are beheaded without detail; a character is beheaded with blood and gore.

Sex/Nudity: Three non-sexual depictions of nudity; frequent sexual references regarding the Queen’s fidelity to the King; jokes and other sexual conquests are mentioned; numerous implied or reported accounts of sexual activity; one incident of nudity with sexual innuendo; sexual mature discussions regarding sex and the Queen’s guilt; three accounts of sexual activity without explicit detail between adults; one detailed description of sex between adults.

Mature Subject Matter:

Accusations of incest, infidelity, and adultery; slander; death

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Frequent drinking

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.