Thinking of reading a Phillipa Gregory - recommend one please

(30 Posts)
CandyLoo Tue 30-Oct-12 20:02:10

I've never read a Phillipa Gregory, but hear lots of good things.
Picked one up in a bookshop earlier today, think I'll give one a try - what do you recommend? Thanks

VivaLeBeaver Tue 30-Oct-12 20:03:46

Wideacre.

BillysBeastlyBogeyman Tue 30-Oct-12 20:05:26

The Other Boleyn Girl and then the Boleyn Inheritence

WhereMyMilk Tue 30-Oct-12 20:07:35

As Billy said.

They are great and will lead you on. Though think her recent books are a little weak. Try Alison Weir and Anne O'Brien thou, very good historians/writers.

GlesgaRocket Tue 30-Oct-12 20:15:23

The Other Boleyn Girl. My favourite Philippa Gregory book.

NotmylastRolo Tue 30-Oct-12 20:27:26

Agree - The Other Boleyn Girl.
Have just read The Kingmaker;s Daughter and am about to start reading The Lady of the Rivers. Not quite as impressed with Kingmaker's Daughter but was still good enough to read it in less than a week.
PG is so easy to read and get into. I have enjoyed each one of her books but my fave is still The Other Boleyn Girl.

WelshWereRabbit Tue 30-Oct-12 20:36:45

Another vote for the Boleyn books as a starting point. Wideacre is a great read, but is not based around actual historical figures, so a bit different from her other stuff.

highlandcoo Tue 30-Oct-12 21:42:39

The Other Boleyn Girl is really good, but if you want to read the Boleyn trilogy in order, start with The Constant Princess, which portrays Catherine of Aragon in her youth. Then TOBG, and finally The Boleyn Inheritance.

A Respectable Trade is quite different. Tells the story of a young woman who marries a slave trader and becomes involved with educating a group of slaves to speak English so that they'll command a higher price.

MerylStrop Tue 30-Oct-12 21:44:57

They are not very well written.

If you fancy a Tudor historical novel would definitely recommend Hilary Mantel or Alison Weir.

Philippa Gregory just doesn't hold up in comparison.

NotmylastRolo Tue 30-Oct-12 22:09:42

Will check out Hilary Mantel & Alison Weir so thanks for the heads up. I always like a recommendation.

NotmylastRolo Tue 30-Oct-12 22:15:54

Wooppeee! Have just realised that Hilary Mantel wrote Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies (both Booker prize winners!) and I have asked my mum for these for Christmas without realising they were by Hilary Mantel. Am well chuffed now and will look forward to a great January read.

MerylStrop Tue 30-Oct-12 22:32:27

They are both awesome

BillyBollyBandy Wed 31-Oct-12 21:38:28

Agree the Hilary Mantel books are excellent.

I really liked Lady of the Rivers by PG but not The White Queen and The Red Queen as much.

kenanddreary Wed 07-Nov-12 13:43:13

Why not try 'The Little House' by Philippa Gregory? Not an historical novel. Couldn't put it down. It was actually made into a mini-series a while ago. Psychological thriller. Brilliant!

CandyLoo Thu 08-Nov-12 13:36:11

kenanddreary Thanks for that, although thrillers aren't really my thing.

LaQueen Thu 08-Nov-12 14:39:51

Philippa Gregory is in my top 10 authors, list.

I loved her Tudor sequence. Feel that her more recent Plantagenet series is much weaker, and shallow in comparison.

Really loved The Wise Woman, by here. Quite poignant, and chilling, in turn.

The Little House, was superb. Starts out quite normal, and if anything a bit slow...but, then gradually the hairs start to prickle on the back of your neck, and you're thinking WTF is going on here, and you finish the tale with your heart in your mouth.

I don't really lke Philippa Gregory, although I have read 2 or 3 of hers. The Other Boleyn Girl was ok....better than the film which was dire. But I found Wideacre really unpleasant. I think it was the incest that put me off.

kenanddreary Thu 08-Nov-12 15:15:18

LaQueen - couldn't have put it better myself. OP - 'The Little House' is well worth a read. Not a traditional type thriller. You would hardly know it was a thriller - it's more of a family/dilemma type story. A lot of psychological elements involved.

LaQueen Fri 09-Nov-12 15:12:06

Ken a friend lent me The Little House, and I read the first few chapters thinking 'Pshaw, clearly she has no idea of my literary tastes...'

But, then a few things start to happen - but, it's all so incredibly subtle that you think you're imagining it, surely. But, the sense of chills just grow and grow, and the atmosphere gets ever more eerie. But there's nothing you can put your finger on, which makes it even worse.

To this day my Mum and I get very heated debating whether the Mum is mentally unstable/sickeningly controlling right from the start, or whether the wife has lost her marbles due to her PND.

Who was the victim??? Who???

cryhavoc Fri 09-Nov-12 15:18:02

I didn't think The Boleyn Inheritance was as good as The Other Boleyn Girl. Her Elizabeth I books, The Virgin's Lover and The Queen's Fool, are excellent.

A Respectable Trade is also very good.

CandyLoo Fri 09-Nov-12 17:13:31

You've convinced me to try 'The Little House', it does sound interesting and worth a look. Thanks

upinthehills Fri 09-Nov-12 17:15:21

I enjoyed the White Queen...

LaQueen Fri 09-Nov-12 17:19:56

I felt The White Queen was weak.

Much preferred The King's Grey Mare, by Rosemary Hawley Jarman, which is about Elizabeth Woodville.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 09-Nov-12 17:22:04

Agree with the top recommendations - start with The Other Boleyn Girl - I enjoyed most of her earlier books but recent ones are a bit lacking in historical research and plot development imho including The White Queen.

I like The Wise Woman as well.

Forester Fri 09-Nov-12 17:26:45

I like all the Phillipa Gregory books that are based on a real person/ real events and agree that the Other Boleyn Girl is good place to start. They are very entertaining to read.

In my opinion it all goes a bit wrong when she does her own plots. The lead character in Wide Acre was absolutely vile and the books that feature North America (can't remember the names) were boring (One I got to the end, the other I gave up a third of the way through)

upinthehills Fri 09-Nov-12 18:01:23

Quite enjoyed Earthy Joys too.

But maybe I have no taste in books!

kenanddreary Sun 11-Nov-12 16:08:17

LaQueen - totally agree! I can't decide who is the guilty party either. The mini-series definitely portrayed the MIL as the nasty character but in the book it isn't quite as straightforward. Loved it!

LaQueen Sun 11-Nov-12 16:14:08

Ken yes, I thought that. Is it the Mother's fault that she clearly adores her DS, and is an excellent cook, and a highly organised house-wife, who smoothly takes everything in her stride - and manages to make her home beautifully presented, and welcoming at all times - and still manages to help out at church and various charities?

I sometimes feel the Wife is just whiney, and incompetent and is just jealous of her MIL.

In the book it's clear the Wife can't cope very well - and her MIL clearly can cope very well indeed, and is just offering to help her. And, at one point the Wife really does leave her baby in potential danger, because all she wants to do is go to bed and sleep.

ImperialStateKnickers Sun 11-Nov-12 16:17:34

Good to see that I'll not the only person who feels a bit meh about the last few Phillippa Gregory historicals.

LaQueen Mon 12-Nov-12 08:40:27

Imperial her last few have been very diluted, I feel? They just don't have the depth or richness of her earlier ones.

I get the impression that after the success of TOBG movie, and the rise and rise of historially-based fiction, her publishers insisted she churned out a new book every year, and she's had to rush them - and it shows sad

I've just re-read The Lady of the Rivers, and I'm let feeling a bit meh - I was hoping that second time around I'd discover more texture and detail, but I haven't.

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