To Die for: A Novel of Anne Boleyn Library Binding – Large Print, 1 January 2012
- Publisher : Center Point Pub; Large Print edition (1 January 2012)
- Language : English
- Library Binding : 415 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1611733014
- ISBN-13 : 978-1611733013
- Dimensions : 14.61 x 3.18 x 22.23 cm
- Customer Reviews:
--Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of "Within My Heart" and "The Inheritance"
"In this moving story of a friendship that survives a queen's rise and fall, Sandra Byrd reaches beyond the familiar stereotypes to give us the story of two remarkable women: Anne Boleyn and Meg Wyatt. A refreshingly three-dimensional Anne and a Meg of courage and integrity make this novel a must for your Tudor library."
--Susan Higginbotham, author of "The Queen of Last Hopes"
"In "To Die For", Sandra Byrd gifts the reader with a fresh look at Anne Boleyn through the eyes of her lifelong friend Meg Wyatt. But Meg commands her own interest and respect in the Tudor world of triumph and tragedy. Readers will be drawn to the events, beautifully depicted, but also to the emotions, skillfully conveyed. A new Tudor historical to treasure."
--Karen Harper, author of "The Queen's Governess"
"Most readers of Tudor historicals think they know Queen Anne Boleyn. They'll meet a very different Anne in Sandra Byrd's wonderfully told To" Die For. "Anne's life-long friend Meg Wyatt tells the tale of Anne's rise from lady-in-waiting to the arms of King Henry VIII and the throne of England until her tragic fall. Meg, who rises and falls with Anne, seeks her own lost love and faith. Anne's influence during the English Reformation is an integral and refreshing part of this story, one that Byrd tells with authority, adding a new and honest dimension to Anne's life and death . . . A novel to savor and return to."
--Jeane Westin, author of "His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester"
"Sandra Byrd's first venture into historical fiction is nothing short of brilliant. All the Tudor details are perfectly placed, like gemstones in a royal crown, yet there is far more to this compelling novel than mere history. The characters live and breathe, their struggles are real, their longings palpable. Seeing Anne Boleyn's story through the eyes of her closest friend provides a well-rounded, even sympathetic view of a woman often vilified in history books. As Meg's story unfolds, Sandra Byrd does Philippa Gregory one better, giving readers a wider glimpse of history, a greater measure of hope, and an ending that satisfies at the deepest level. Simply put, "To Die For "is the best historical novel I've read in many a season, a masterpiece of history and heart."
--Liz Curtis Higgs, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Mine Is the Night"
"Ms. Byrd shows a wonderful sense of time and place in her novel, "To Die For". Her characters and her story are drawn with precision. The new life she breathes into well-worn notables like Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, as seen through her character, Meg, is simply captivating."
--Diane Haeger, author of "The Queen's Rival"
"As a reader who appreciates well-researched historical fiction, I truly enjoyed Sandra Byrd's "To Die For". Anne Boleyn has long held a fascination for contemporary readers, and I was pleased to discover this account of her remarkable life. Through her charm, intelligence, and wit, she changed the course of history."
--Angela Hunt, author of "The Fine Art of Insincerity"
"With the vivid descriptions the author provides, "To Die For" is an interesting work of historical fiction that offers a fresh look at the court of King Henry VIII."
"--Romantic Times" (4 stars)
"Told through the eyes of Anne Boleyn's best friend, Meg Wyatt, this stunning novel by French Twist series author Byrd re-examines Boleyn's life from her beginnings to her rise and eventual fall in the Tudor court. Meg has her own tale of young love and pride, having turned her back on her childhood love when he accepted a religious calling. She travels with Anne to court and finds her life intimately tied to Anne's changing fortunes. Byrd's novel adds a depth to the character of Anne Boleyn that is often missing in other novels, and she brings the history to life in exquisite detail. Readers might indeed find themselves sympathizing with the young queen. Highly recommended for fans of Philippa Gregory."
--"Library Journal", starred review
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The facts of Anne Boleyn's life have been reasonably well documented in terms of historical accuracy. Sandra Byrd's skill here is to use the known facts and to interpret the known events in an original and highly sympathetic way. I have always harboured a feeling that Anne Boleyn was not quite the power hungry gold digger that many novels have portrayed. I have also always felt that once the King (Henry VIII) had her in his sights, she was essentially doomed. That long, chaste and exhausting pursuit of Mistress Boleyn and her ultimate decision that if she couldn't escape, she might as well go for broke and hold out for marriage and a coronation, don't seem like the actions of a heartless schemer: rather those of a woman who realised she was trapped and effectively frozen out from any other potential marriage. Sandra Byrd is clearly of a similar opinion and by giving her book's heroine the role of intimate attendant and confidante, she is able to weave a good parallel tale around Meg and her own long, troublesome courtship. Anne has the crown, the weight of dynastic expectation and a husband whose tyrannical nature becomes more and more apparent until it engulfs her. Meg ultimately has the happy ending, whose crowning glory is the love she and her husband are finally able to share.
Anne's moment comes and goes with the birth of Elizabeth - a daughter, not the longed for, fought for, lives destroyed for, son and heir. Modern medical thinking is that she could have been rhesus positive which would have meant no chance of any subsequent pregnancy succeeding - but that was something beyond contemporary understanding. Whatever the reason,Henry's obsessive love turned to disappointment, and into a need to cast aside the woman who promised so much, but failed(literally) to deliver. On such obstetric issues did many a woman's life turn in those days and Henry's exciting and unobtainable mistress, did not make a smooth transition to fruitful wife! Sandra Byrd also draws out Anne's evolving religious views in a genuine and understandable way.
All in all, great stuff - looking forward to the next one from Sandra Byrd.
This ranks as one of the most important times in English history with the birth of the Reformation and Anne and Henry's roles in it but the book doesn't get too bogged down with politics and religion which can make some novels boring.
I would recommend this book to and Anne Boleyn or Tudors fan.
That aside, Ive already got The Secret Keeper ordered, and am happy to add this lady to my list of most-enjoyable historical novelists.