Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, A Review

This book begins in the year 1500. Thomas Cromwell was a young boy, however, Cromwell does not know his age or his birthday and never will know it exactly. In this trivial beginning, Thomas Cromwell is being beaten practically to death by his father Walter, a blacksmith. This sets off a tumultuous life for him in the following pages. He is taken in by his sister and her husband and then given money to just leave town and get scarce. He does.

He does everything, soldiering to marketing cloth, until the reader finds him in the year 1527, best guess is age 35. He is working for a man he loves dearly, the Cardinal, the Archbishop of York. He is well settled, taking care of his sisters and his own wife and children. However, things go wrong. Thomas Cromwell loses what is most important to him and yet only gains popularity in the eyes of king Henry VIII. And what follows, in this book and the next, is how he really makes history.

Hilary Mantel is a brilliant writer. However, I can see where people are coming from when they say they have a hard time reading her books. This is a reread for me and I had forgotten how necessary it was to really get into the rhythm of her writing style. I can make a few allusions here, it’s like a dance or like art etc. But really, it’s her gorgeous unique style that grabs me and convinces me that I couldn’t be doing anything more hardcore than reading historical fiction.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

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