For the month of April, I had challenged myself to read something from the historical fiction genre. I chose Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
It's a book I had been putting off reading for such a long time. I was hesitant for two reasons. First, the previous Booker Prize winner I had read was The Gathering by Anne Enright, and it was such a woe-is-me sob fest. I was expecting something lyrical - like The Inheritance of Loss and The God of Small Things. Somehow, I felt like Wolf Hall was going to be either hit or miss in that category, because - secondly, I read Mantel's Beyond Black, due to my tendency of reading backlist titles before reading a widely talked about novel. Beyond Black just did nothing for me. It just dragged on and went nowhere.
Thankfully, Wolf Hall did not, despite the book's sheer volume. It was such a pleasure to read Mantel's characterisation of Thomas Cromwell, as well as that of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the rest of the players in the Tudor court. It only slightly jarred me to see Mary Boleyn portrayed under such a different light compared to Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl. However, I am no expert with regards to the notorious Boleyns - my only exposure aside from the two books mentioned is the tv series The Tudors, so there you go.
Much to my delight, Wolf Hall's sequel Bring Up the Bodies shall be out soon! Hurrah! Hopefully, it will be as sumptuous as its predecessor.
Next up for this month is the crime genre. For all those doing any reading challenges, good luck, and happy reading!