The only woman to have won the Man Booker Prize twice in a row, Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies deserved to win. Despite the novel being set in Henry VIIIs Tudor England much about the novel has huge relevance to life today with political scandals and major figures falling from grace because of a woman’s wrath, only instead of damming emails we have messengers despatched via secret passages and every nuance that could mean something, anything is carefully recorded in Cromwell’s computer like mind. Mantel’s keen observations of how Ann Boleyn captures the attention of her next victim and makes him believe he is the only man in the room are brilliant. The Faux French Queen’s pearls in her necklace are likened to little beads of fat around her neck and her nails are described as tiny knives. She describes Anne’s anger as scissored up sewing, broken glass and her presence as ‘barbed’ so her ladies avoid getting too near.
The second guessing of what everyone else is thinking and how to avoid falling out of Henry’s favour provide much of the substance of the book and Mantel’s Cromwell or Crmuell is shown as master manipulator who manages at least in this book to keep his head. She has been persuaded to write a third book to complete this dazzling trilogy and I have no doubt it will be as sharp and thrilling as Bring Up the Bodies, Bring on the next book…
I read it with a pencil so I could mark the many insightful and clever descriptions Mantel deployed to transport us to this dark but compelling world. A no brainer Christmas present for anyone who takes their reading seriously and fabulous for bits to read aloud to inspire the younger members of the family to write like this.
Let me know what you thought of Bring Up the Bodies in the comment box below and thanks for liking and sharing on Facebook. Monica.
Older books on my library shelf are here, click on the jackets to find out more and easily order here direct from Amazon , done.
OTHER BRILLIANT BOOKS ON MY LIBRARY SHELF
- Hilary Mantel shortlisted for Costa award for Bring Up The Bodies (telegraph.co.uk)