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in Books | Romance

The Wolf Hall Trilogy, Book 1

Best price: £5.99

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Positives

Neutrals

Negatives

57.2% 11.9% 30.9%

Senti Score  [69.1%]

Sea of Memories

This product wins!
Best price: £3.49

In 1937, seventeen-year-old Ella’s life changes forever when she is sent to spend the summer on the beautiful Île de Ré and meets the charismatic, creative Christophe. They spend the summer together, exploring the island’s sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, and, for the fi..

Positives

Neutrals

Negatives

86.8% 6.9% 6.3%

Senti Score  [93.7%]

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The Wolf Hall Trilogy, Book 1

difficult superb worst written terribly confusing slow really brilliant completely brilliant brilliant enjoyed it enormously best unclear confusing poor grammar excellent boring great

Sea of Memories

autistic enjoy boring beautiful difficult overly descriptive absolutely brilliant disappointed really beautiful difficult circumstances simply beautiful repetitive love happy great rushed pairs

Compare Cons

very difficult in both products

"getting to the end of the book must be something akin to climbing a very difficult mountain and getting to the top"
74.9%

nothing much in both products

"also nothing much seemed to happen no twists turns surprises to keep you hanging on and wanting more"
56.0%

worst written

"the story looks great but honestly this is one of the worst written books i've ever attempted to wade through"
99.9%

poor grammar

"i was initially wary of buying this book as i'd read the reviews on here talking about it being hard to follow with their accusations of poor grammar"
99.8%

terribly confusing

"just couldn't finish it the language is confusing all the "he" references when a group of men are talking makes it terribly confusing"
99.8%

incredibly poorly

"the problem though is that it is incredibly poorly written"
99.6%

failure reading

"as this can be put down to my own failure reading in a state of tiredness before bed i would advise saving this for a holiday when you can give it the attention it deserves and reap its full reward"
99.2%

extremely boring

"as other reviewers have said it is very difficult to follow in places in terms of knowing which character is speaking but in addition to this i just found the whole thing very slow moving and extremely boring"
99.1%

book boring

"personally i found the book boring and difficult to follow"
99.1%

rather boring

"but i found it rather boring and i had to force myself to keep reading"
99.1%

very disappointed

"very disappointed"
99.0%

extremely irritating

"her habit of referring to characters by just a pronoun i find extremely irritating"
98.8%

with caution

"he copes with the women of the court anne katherine mary and the others that serve them with caution and sometimes confusion seeing them as another problem to solve as well as possible actors in his scenarios"
98.6%

quite bereft

"i feel quite bereft now i've reached the end but fortunately there are sequels to come"
98.0%

very confusing

"at first the book reads in a very confusing manner cromwell referred to as 'he' throughout the entire book and it is often unclear who is talking and what about"
98.0%

boring boring

"boring boring boring what a waste of money next time i will be more careful what i choose to read"
98.0%

these failings

"i recommend it despite these failings for anyone who is interested in getting closer to how the tudors operated"
97.6%

clever writers

"unless i am missing some clever writers point i just don't get it!"
96.5%

hugely irritating

"i found this hugely irritating"
95.3%

extremely badly

"extremely badly written incoherent rubbish"
93.5%

monotonous and repetitive

"found it qute monotonous and repetitive"
92.7%

terribly boring

"i had heard so many good things about this book but i found it terribly boring and gave up reading it about 1 3rd of the way in"
91.9%

quite confusing

"the format used is quite confusing and at times difficult to follow"
91.0%

ignorant peasants

"an isolated rainy island populated by uncultured aristocrats and ignorant peasants"
90.7%

fell headlong

"the very first chapter grabbed me and i fell headlong into the court of henry viii"
90.1%

dull and boring

"however i found the book a little dull and boring"
89.5%

skimming unforgivably

"before long i began to find the literary style a sort of first person narrative delivered in the third person less interesting than weird and the stately pace of the narrative found me skimming unforgivably"
88.2%

incoherent rubbish

"extremely badly written incoherent rubbish"
87.9%

most infuriating thing

"the most infuriating thing though is mantel's habit of writing "he says" during a conversation between three or possibly four men meaning that you have no idea who is speaking"
85.8%

seems unclear

"why it attracted such extravagant praise and won so many awards seems unclear to me though"
75.0%

wade through

"great service but undoubtably the hardest book i have ever had the misfortune to wade through"
75.0%

somewhat unclear

"my only minor irritation has already been mentioned by previous reviewers that of the author using the third person present tense throughout the book the term 'he' was somewhat unclear at times particularly in conversation and i'm surprised this was not commented on before permitting publication"
74.9%

bogged down

"it takes its time to get anywhere and sometimes gets bogged down under the weight of its constant thinking reaction and action plotting and planning"
74.9%

pointlessly confusing

"mantel's prose is stumbling and repetitive with the pointlessly confusing use of pronouns proving an impediment to the reader's understanding"
74.9%

blatant transgression

"this is a book to be grappled with to ignore the blatant transgression from grammatical writing to move on and enjoy the prose never mind the delightful historical inaccuracy"
74.9%

borderline unreadable

"i’ve not read any of hilary mantel’s previous books so this may be an unfair judgement but i found this book to be borderline unreadable"
74.9%

adverse reviews

"however i bought this despite having read a great many adverse reviews especially in a "oldie magazine" article"
74.9%

no longer bothered

"at first i had a bit of a problem with hilary mantel's style of writing this novel but i was soon so captivated by the story that it no longer bothered me"
74.8%

even worse

"" so clearly the author is as confused as you are and if it's voluntary for purpose of style it's even worse "
74.8%

very disjointed

"at times it felt very disjointed and seemed to jump around"
74.8%

totally confused

"everyone appears to be called thomas and i got totally confused"
74.7%

complete mess

"the book is a complete mess and how this won the man booker prize is a mystery to me but it doesn't make me want to read any other winners"
74.7%

badly used

"i was a little put off by a couple of earlier reviews saying this was hard to follow and pronouns are badly used"
74.6%

very badly

"thomas more is very badly done by in htis and if you hate present tense books watch out but it is a great read"
74.6%

very clunky

"i enjoyed the content and insight but took me several attempts to read this book and having read it still find the style very clunky"
74.6%

vulnerable characters

"thomas cromwell is devious and ambitious but strangely sensitive to some vulnerable characters and aware of his loneliness"
74.6%

lack of experience

"the thing is i'm not sure if the writing was meant to give a sense of writing for a different age or was just a sign of the authors lack of experience at the time of writing"
74.6%

absolutely obnoxious

"henry is absolutely obnoxious and he and ann deserve each other"
74.5%

double check

"i bought the kindle version so it wasn't so easy to flip back to double check i had the right character!"
74.5%

failed grammar

"just now and then i completely fail to understand a couple of paragraphs clouded as they are by failed grammar and a failure to complete a thread of logic"
74.5%

missed opportunity

"to me this book is a missed opportunity"
74.5%

becomes irrelevant

"the length is daunting before beginning but once into it that becomes irrelevant"
74.4%

begin with

"to begin with it was almost impossible to fathom out whether wolsey was speaking cromwell or cavendish"
74.4%

negative reviews

"i am late in reading wolf hall mainly because i let the negative reviews sway me"
74.3%

overly complicated

"the way in which it is written does seem overly complicated"
74.2%

badly written

"i thought this book was badly written and a complete load of tosh not really one thing or the other"
74.1%

crime drama

"sansom's shardlake series which have a good degree of historical interest interspersed amongst an interesting crime drama although i do think the latter books are getting a bit to thin credulity and originality and its probably time to move on"
74.0%

does n't often

"this author knows what she's doing i'm pretty sure the booker doesn't often go to people who don't punctuate good and if you take the plunge you'll be gripped"
74.0%

fatal confrontations

"cromwell has his measure in this book but remains under no illusions that he must proceed with caution to avoid potentially fatal confrontations"
73.9%

impossible read

"i'm a big fan of historical novels but the peculiar idiosyncratic style of 'wolf hall' made it an impossible read for me"
73.9%

turgid tome

"i cannot understand what people find so fantastic about this turgid tome"
73.8%

only minor irritation

"my only minor irritation has already been mentioned by previous reviewers that of the author using the third person present tense throughout the book the term 'he' was somewhat unclear at times particularly in conversation and i'm surprised this was not commented on before permitting publication"
73.7%

rather contrived

"the style of writing is rather contrived and left me wondering if the author was engaging in an academic game as in : "see how cleverly i can weave an historical plot and keep you guessing on the links between the characters""
73.5%

infamous figure

"this has raised the standard of historical novel writing and has added substantially to the literature on the life and time of the infamous figure of thomas cromwell"
73.3%

time consuming

"recommend this book for avid readers as it is time consuming!"
72.8%

more wrong

"however i could not have been more wrong"
72.5%

never laboured

"it is written in a very straightforward style with the historical detail and sense of the period worn lightly and never laboured"
72.4%

rather sketchy

"cromwell in real life has a rather sketchy history growing up with contradictions and some mystery but as far as can be discerned he served as a mercenary did learn languages and helped to accommodate trade deals"
71.6%

feel traitorous

"i feel traitorous giving this book such a low star scores: there are times when i found myself thinking the writing was magnificent a genuine masterpiece that would stand through time"
71.2%

diverse progress

"yet it is a human book in its diverse progress the tangents and confusions that we can understand"
71.0%

more horrific

"i also feel whilst acknowledging the fact that he was a brilliant mind and a great statesman it glossed over the darker and more horrific outcomes of some of his policies and almost portrayed him as 'misunderstood'"
70.8%

hard and difficult

"cromwell is a man with a hard and difficult upbringing who by guile and luck rises in a machiavellian world of wheeling and dealing from a low beginning to a high position at court"
70.5%

lost my enthusiasm for

"maybe it would have got better had i persevered with it but i had lost my enthusiasm for it at that point"
70.3%

less pleasant

"lack of even basic historical knowledge of the period might make this a less pleasant experience for anyone who doesn't know the history but it would still be a good read"
70.2%

many reviewers

"i think that this is a king's clothes type of book and many reviewers are afraid to admit that they didn't enjoy it as it's very 'of the moment'"
70.2%

another problem

"he copes with the women of the court anne katherine mary and the others that serve them with caution and sometimes confusion seeing them as another problem to solve as well as possible actors in his scenarios"
70.2%

awful structure

"you hardly even know who the author is talking about you always find the awful structure: "he cromwell thought"
69.8%

painful to read

"the first chapter was fantastic but then it became too painful to read"
69.3%

less interesting

"before long i began to find the literary style a sort of first person narrative delivered in the third person less interesting than weird and the stately pace of the narrative found me skimming unforgivably"
69.2%

biggest problem

"the biggest problem i found was the style of writing the continual use of the word "he" when you do not know who is being referred to although usually it was cromwell and the lack of quotation marks so you did not know whether it was speech or an aside"
69.2%

little persperverance

"with a little persperverance over the first 100 pages and a supporting role from wikipedia you gain the impression that hilary has channeled thomas cromwell onto the page from a gorge of research tudor history has wavered between being to academic and tiresome to simple and prime time here you feel how history was transformed by a number of powerful characters with commited human agendas"
69.1%

disjointed reading

"however it does make for disjointed reading which makes it difficult to give an objective review sorry "
69.1%

have worried

"however the next chapter was a flashback that revealed all the missing details and filled in the blanks so i needn't have worried"
69.0%

with irritation

"i should have had every reason for not really enjoying this: i don't have patience with long novels i don't particularly like historical fiction nothing principled but they are often stilted and i always find myself obsessing over which bits are real and which extemporised and i don't usually like things written in the present tense coetzee's disgrace had me screaming with irritation "
68.9%

not intimately known

"hilary mantel breathes essential life into names that form part of our national heritage but whose characters are not intimately known"
68.9%

convoluted passage

"when there's a convoluted passage but no names just 'he' it's just too disruptive to the flow of the dialogue to have to keep referring back a couple of paragraphs to check that the author does in fact mean 'cromwell'"
68.9%

hard backs

"i find that paper backs are easier to read in bed than hard backs but in any edition this writer pleases"
68.5%

sometimes difficult

"i found the style of writing very irritating and sometimes difficult to follow"
67.9%

unfair judgement

"i’ve not read any of hilary mantel’s previous books so this may be an unfair judgement but i found this book to be borderline unreadable"
67.6%

several chapters i gave

"after referring constantly back to this for several chapters i gave up"
67.3%

wrong with

"my wife enjoyed it but to me that signifies there is something wrong with her not me!"
67.3%

heavy going

"however it was heavy going"
67.3%

inept and i lost

"to me it seems inept and i lost interest very quickly"
67.2%

difficult to follow

"the format used is quite confusing and at times difficult to follow"
67.1%

hardly touched

"the whole book rolls inexorably towards the execution of sir thomas more but that when it finally happens is hardly touched on"
66.7%

found difficult

"good read though found difficult to follow when only reading a few pages in bed!"
66.6%

very stubborn

"it dose give a refreshing new light on all the characters even thomas more who was probably very stubborn"
66.2%

claustrophobic maybe

"but it boils down to the lives of 4 main characters which made the book feel a bit claustrophobic maybe this was intentional"
65.5%

paper backs

"i find that paper backs are easier to read in bed than hard backs but in any edition this writer pleases"
64.8%

real shame

"a real shame as it’s set in such an incredible point in british history"
64.4%

not alone in this

"i see i am not alone in this"
64.3%

lost in places

"like the previous reviewer i get lost in places"
64.1%

hate leaving books

"this book i didn't like hate leaving books as i adore books but this one leaves me cold"
63.6%

muddy impassable roads

"the mist on the river dark and dangerous london streets muddy impassable roads are all too real"
63.1%

pages long

"650 pages long but very descriptive!"
62.8%

downside the style

"only downside the style of writing in parts where you have to 'guess' who the text is about usually its thomas cromwell but it can easily be an exchange of 'conversation' with another character and the two have to be separated "
62.8%

more sorry

"it isn't just that ann boleyn is shown as an utter bitch rather than a tragic queen okay most people have already come to that conclusion or that that steadfast man for all seasons sir thomas more sorry st"
62.8%

slow burn others

"a reader picking up a book any book is seeking to get engaged some books are a slow burn others arresting from the beginning"
62.2%

ignore the constant

"try to ignore the constant and at times confusing use of the word "he" and you'll get along just fine"
62.1%

compulsive reading

"i honestly cannot understand the reviews criticising the writing style i have found the novel easy to read and compulsive reading when mantel writes “he said thinks etc” it is referring to cromwell"
62.0%

after several tries

"perhaps i am just too dim but i gave up after several tries"
61.8%

much impatience

"i await the third book with as much impatience as every other reader"
61.7%

faint hearted

"you have to commit to read it it is not for the faint hearted at 600+ pages"
61.6%

little disconcerted

"like many of the other reviewers i too felt a little disconcerted when i looked at the preview of the book and saw it was largely written in the present tense"
61.4%

ultimate helplessness

"cromwell's service to the monstrous henry viii his strength his intelligence but ultimate helplessness in the face of henry's psychopathic selfishness is chilling fascinating and totally believable "
61.4%

almost nothing

"i knew almost nothing about thomas cromwell before reading this but fascinated by him now"
61.3%

unclear prose and number

"some have criticised the grammar errors unclear prose and number of incidental characters"
61.3%

missing something here

"am i missing something here?"
60.8%

objective review sorry

"however it does make for disjointed reading which makes it difficult to give an objective review sorry "
60.6%

disliked this book

"9 out of the 10 of use disliked this book"
60.5%

writing or poor editing

"not sure if this was an intentional "modern" take on writing or poor editing!"
60.3%

does n't know the history

"lack of even basic historical knowledge of the period might make this a less pleasant experience for anyone who doesn't know the history but it would still be a good read"
60.2%

minor functionaries

"mantel has said that she was keen to look at the events of henry’s reign through other eyes than the wives the king himself the minor functionaries of court"
60.1%

stilted and hard

"i found the writing to be a bit stilted and hard to engage with"
60.0%

really concentrate

"you need to really concentrate!"
59.5%

your thing

"if its not your thing you can just pass the book to a charity shop"
59.3%

wrong way round

"i probably read it "the wrong way round" having seen the tv series first but the image of cromwell rang very true and all the historic characters came across as complete people rather than cut outs from history lessons"
58.8%

subtitles were rubbish

"i bought this because i was unable to see the tv dramatisation i'm hearing impaired and the subtitles were rubbish "
58.7%

struggled along

"i struggled along for forty pages thinking was it me?"
58.7%

more complicated

"the writing style is such that concentration is essential as the story becomes more complicated"
58.5%

a hard slog

"i gave up very early on trying to figure out who said what to whom and i just went with the flow but it was a hard slog"
58.2%

difficult at times

"again difficult at times to identify the characters especially as they were somwtimes referred to by title rather than name"
58.0%

laborious and confusing

"however as others have indicated the strange narrative style makes this one very laborious and confusing in parts"
57.4%

also rather pretentious

"gave up after 50% found it too dense and confusing also rather pretentious!"
57.3%

even more compulsive

"the sequel is an even more compulsive read"
57.3%

spendthrift cruel wife

"the miracle is that as long as i'm reading wolf hall i find myself accepting the notion of henry viii as a decent chap who just needs befriending instead of the wilful egotistical greedy spendthrift cruel wife murdering monster i see him as the moment i shut the book"
57.2%

difficult to get into

"i found the book quite difficult to get into and had a few attempts at it"
57.2%

quite a hard slog

"i found the book quite a hard slog and must admit to skipping some kindle pages when the character was of no interest to me but on the whole i enjoyed it and would recemmend it to someone who enjoyes historical novels"
57.0%

found confusing

"my only caveat would be technicalities her punctuation around dialogue for example i found confusing"
56.9%

grammer is useless

"as others have said you have no sense of who is talking or being talked about and the grammer is useless"
56.7%

story is very slow

"so many different characters to remember and the story is very slow moving"
56.4%

most disappointing

"a most disappointing purchase"
56.4%

amost confusing style

"it is written in amost confusing style and i find it personally difficult to follow"
56.2%

bookl really heavy

"i found this bookl really heavy going"
56.1%

starts as a lowly

"there is no explanation of the reason for the rise of incredible thomas cromwell who starts as a lowly lad and suddenly metamorphoses into this educated giant of a man"
56.1%

quite heavy going

"this was highly recommended but i found it quite heavy going"
55.9%

up almost straight away

"don't know what all the fuss is about this writer this book is far too wordy got fed up almost straight away"
55.7%

almost as dangerous

"being in the king's favour was almost as dangerous as being his enemy"
55.7%

last i wish

"the last book of hers that i read i promised myself would be the last i wish i had kept to that promise"
55.7%

speech marks

"the only complaint i had were that there weren't any speech marks where there should have been so it meant i had to re read the passage again which was a little annoying"
55.6%

not that good

"i'm afraid most historians are not that good at writing however good they are with facts"
55.6%

library copy

"still haven't got round to reading it but don't have to keep borrowing a library copy and renewing it much more cost effective!"
55.4%

not a difficult book

"now i read for enjoyment not a challenge and i have to say that this is not a difficult book"
55.4%

something so heavy

"having read wolf hall twice in the original hard back i decided it would be nice to have in digital format in order to read when on the move or where holding something so heavy would be off putting"
55.2%

that ann boleyn

"it isn't just that ann boleyn is shown as an utter bitch rather than a tragic queen okay most people have already come to that conclusion or that that steadfast man for all seasons sir thomas more sorry st"
55.2%

marry ann boleyn

"with reformations in the church structure cromwell enables henry to marry ann boleyn and make her daughter elizabeth heir to the english throne"
55.2%

hard back copy

"i bought the kindle version initially but this is a book to savour so i am now purchasing a hard back copy for my shelf"
55.1%

very long book

"difficult style to get into and a very long book the narrative is rich in metaphors and contextual observation so you get a feel for the whole location like it's a film and the characters are real"
55.0%

find it a trifle

"perhaps if you are interested in this period of english history you will quickly get into this story however if your interest is for a good read you may find it a trifle dry"
54.9%

actually gave up

"some friends actually gave up !"
54.9%

could not stop reading

"i could not stop reading!"
54.7%

their accusations

"i was initially wary of buying this book as i'd read the reviews on here talking about it being hard to follow with their accusations of poor grammar"
54.7%

n't make reading easy

"the writing style didn't make reading easy"
54.7%

so with mantel

"not so with mantel"
54.7%

referring constantly

"after referring constantly back to this for several chapters i gave up"
54.6%

have put down away

"one of the very few books i have put down away out"
54.6%

became used to the book

"i'm usually a fairly quick reader but for this book i just slowed right down and re read a few sentences until i became used to the book"
54.6%

hard to follow

"gave up before i got to half way i couldn’t figure out who was saying what and the conversations were just too hard to follow"
54.6%

very long time

"this is one of the best books i have read in a very long time"
54.6%

challenge in the books

"but i like a challenge in the books i read and it's easy to get the hang of it"
54.6%

n't mind that

"but i don't mind that and for that i have given it 4 stars"
54.6%

not experience that

"however i did not experience that and there seemed so many longueurs as to fall well short of a great novel"
54.6%

not a story make

"a well of fine words do not a story make"
54.6%

gave up half way through

"gave up half way through"
54.5%

dialogue problem

"i doubt if i will read "bring up the bodies" if i have to waste time on the dialogue problem again"
54.5%

very disappointing

"sorry but very disappointing"
54.5%

will no longer

"i will no longer have any confidence in the manbooker prize or short list again"
54.5%

followers of damien hirst

"like the followers of damien hirst no doubt"
54.5%

missed here

"i feel an opportunity is missed here"
54.4%

a hard copy

"this is the first book i have found that it would be better to have as a hard copy"
54.3%

such a hard slog

"however it has been such a hard slog instead of the anticipated pleasure"
54.3%

real chore

"i only hope i don't forget the text i have already ploughed through and have to reread it that would be a real chore"
54.2%

says do n't be childish

""he says don't be childish"
54.1%

unsure who was speaking

"lots of conversation so at times was unsure who was speaking"
54.0%

almost dry of personality

"tried several times now it is written well but feels almost dry of personality"
53.9%

just did n't grip

"i had to abandon it about the third of the way through as it just didn’t grip me"
53.9%

declared void

"he manages to keep henry v111 onside by setting up a situation where henry's marriage to katherine of aragon could be declared void "
53.9%

similar to our brexit

"with seemingly effortless ease she describes a world similar to our brexit one"
53.9%

outside of thomas

"i longed to stand outside of thomas the better to see how the world saw him but i get the point of the writers device none the less"
53.9%

too wordy and hard

"far too wordy and hard work"
53.7%

looong and slow

"i'm so torn on this one i liked it and i love the era and i'm fascinated by the history but its so looong and slow that it sucks the enjoyment of it all"
53.7%

just lost interest

"later i picked it up again determined to get on with it but again i just lost interest"
53.5%

gave up on that

"i had previously bought 'a place of greater safety' back in the early 1990's but gave up on that after just a few pages"
53.4%

missing something

"was i missing something?"
53.4%

not always clear

"this is written in a confusing way where it is not always clear as to who is speaking or thinking"
53.4%

very irritating

"i found the style of writing very irritating and sometimes difficult to follow"
53.3%

the kind of book

"not the kind of book i usually read but couldn't put it down"
53.2%

ambitious ann boleyn

"by the end of the book cromwell has watched the relationship between henry and ambitious ann boleyn and her family develop and then wither as ann fails to produce a male heir to the english throne"
53.1%

guile and luck rises

"cromwell is a man with a hard and difficult upbringing who by guile and luck rises in a machiavellian world of wheeling and dealing from a low beginning to a high position at court"
53.0%

short overrated crap

"in short overrated crap"
53.0%

negative side

"but on the negative side i did not find it a 'page turner' as clearly some of the ardent fans of the novel did"
53.0%

unfunny so called comics

"made a big change from foul mouthed unfunny so called comics shouting at you from your tv"
52.8%

gave up again

"i loved that and soon got used to the style of writing and so gave wolf hall another go but i gave up again"
52.7%

hilary mantel

"what a special lady is hilary mantel"
52.7%

void in my life

"i may have to slow down as the paperback 'bring up the bodies" is not out until may and i will be left with a void in my life when i get to the end of wolf hall"
52.6%

dense and confusing

"gave up after 50% found it too dense and confusing also rather pretentious!"
52.6%

made it difficult

"of writing that it first made it difficult"
52.5%

leaves me cold

"this book i didn't like hate leaving books as i adore books but this one leaves me cold"
52.5%

psychopathic selfishness

"cromwell's service to the monstrous henry viii his strength his intelligence but ultimate helplessness in the face of henry's psychopathic selfishness is chilling fascinating and totally believable "
52.4%

difficult to adjust

"i found it difficult to understand who was speaking at times and the writing style difficult to adjust to"
52.4%

querulous dictator

"king henry is sometimes a child to be placated an impossible querulous dictator"
52.4%

still do n't like

"thought i'd get used to it but having just finished the second book 'bring up the bodies' i still don't like it "
52.3%

often difficult

"if fact have you ever sat in a business meeting where it's a subject you know a tiny bit about but everyone else in the room seems to know more than you do and it's often difficult to follow what they are saying?"
52.2%

waste of money

"a waste of money for me"
52.2%

aware of his loneliness

"thomas cromwell is devious and ambitious but strangely sensitive to some vulnerable characters and aware of his loneliness"
52.1%

fairly difficult read

"the story is set in the times of king henry viii and anne boleyn and it has much to commend it i found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next in spite of the style of writing that leaves a bit to be desired and makes for a fairly difficult read"
52.0%

utter bitch

"it isn't just that ann boleyn is shown as an utter bitch rather than a tragic queen okay most people have already come to that conclusion or that that steadfast man for all seasons sir thomas more sorry st"
52.0%

difficult to read

"such an interesting and exciting book but my word it is so difficult to read"
51.9%

minute fill

"my husband and i are both reading it at the moment and we're both struggling to finish it as it's not the sort of book you can just pick up for a ten minute fill in read!"
51.9%

bit cold and distant

"the only slight criticism from me it's that it can seem a bit cold and distant on occasions"
51.9%

which was annoying

"although a really fascinating story of this complex man i did find the style of hilary mantel's writing rather hard going i kept having to refer back to who was who which was annoying "
51.8%

grammatical errors

"this book is full of grammatical errors and is not exciting at all"
51.7%

difficult to put down

"once started it is difficult to put down"
51.7%

assume it's cromwell

"if in doubt assume it's cromwell"
51.6%

became a blur at times

"the main characterisations henry ann boleyn and of course cromwell were exquisitely drawn and i found them compelling but some of the other characters became a blur at times"
51.5%

anne katherine mary

"he copes with the women of the court anne katherine mary and the others that serve them with caution and sometimes confusion seeing them as another problem to solve as well as possible actors in his scenarios"
51.5%

codpiece cometh

""prithee my lord methinks thy codpiece cometh undone" hilary mantel is unmatched in the field of historical fiction "faction" and the parts that she has extrapolated and invented are totally credible and merge seamlessly with historical fact"
51.5%

cardinal wolsey cromwell

"trained in the arts of diplomacy and politics by cardinal wolsey cromwell is clever slippery and a good judge of character "
51.5%

channeled thomas cromwell

"with a little persperverance over the first 100 pages and a supporting role from wikipedia you gain the impression that hilary has channeled thomas cromwell onto the page from a gorge of research tudor history has wavered between being to academic and tiresome to simple and prime time here you feel how history was transformed by a number of powerful characters with commited human agendas"
51.5%

except it does

"except it doesn't!"
51.3%

difficult read

"the way this is written made for a difficult read for me"
51.3%

quite heavy reading

"great book but quite heavy reading i would recommend this book"
51.2%

short and brutal

"life in this period could be and often was short and brutal and this book shows us how and why"
51.1%

even madder

"the tudor world is a mad world even madder than the 21st century world"
51.0%

would not recommend

"would not recommend"
50.8%

writers device none

"i longed to stand outside of thomas the better to see how the world saw him but i get the point of the writers device none the less"
50.8%

found it dull

"sorry to be so negative but i just found it dull!"
50.8%

quotation marks

"the biggest problem i found was the style of writing the continual use of the word "he" when you do not know who is being referred to although usually it was cromwell and the lack of quotation marks so you did not know whether it was speech or an aside"
50.7%

after 20 pages or

"i gave up after 20 pages or so"
50.3%

less favourable

"i can see the reasoning behind some of the less favourable comments i"
50.3%

less conjecture

"and of course if you want more history and less conjecture read a biography"
50.3%

tough to read at points

"tough to read at points"
50.3%

hardly ever

"i hardly ever give up on a book after reading half of it"
50.2%
...

very difficult in both products

"i read it in my comfortable reading chair and found it very difficult to put down"
74.9%

nothing much in both products

"nothing much happened in the first 5% apart from she goes to a french island next 20% she is on the island but nothing much happens apart from swimming and picnics"
56.0%

difficult circumstances

"different kinds of love and how it is nurtured in difficult circumstances"
99.5%

rushed pairs

"except for occasional relief in a few attractivly delivered scottish sentences the delivery seems to be in rushed pairs of identically inflected phrases delivered with mechanical monotony"
75.0%

overly descriptive

"i'm afraid i found it boring overly descriptive and repetitive not my kind of novel at all certainly not the page turner that i like to read"
75.0%

rather cumbersome

"the literary style is rather cumbersome and detracts from the rather clever plot"
74.9%

pale golds

"pale golds and turquoise shimmering from the pages"
74.9%

plain polyester

"didn’t care much for these don’t like the material would have preferred plain polyester"
74.9%

dying grandmother

"then a busy kendra is asked to visit her dying grandmother and write her life story and what a life story that is!"
74.8%

became completely

"not my usual sort of book but i became completely absorbed by this story"
74.6%

grim years

"from ella's carefree days as a young girl falling in love for the first time through the grim years of the second world war to the inevitable ending"
74.6%

pretty badly

"i so nearly missed reading this book i have a weird aversion to anything french which possibly stems from being treated pretty badly by the 'french' car showroom admin and the border officers on return journey to germany "
74.6%

real cruelty of

"it also shows the rawness and real cruelty of war in every way imaginable"
74.5%

busy kendra

"then a busy kendra is asked to visit her dying grandmother and write her life story and what a life story that is!"
73.7%

totally wrong

"i was totally wrong and not only have i really enjoyed the book but spent plenty of time reflecting on the poignant messages which unfold"
73.4%

autistic disabled child

"firstly the realisation by ella that lasting love will endure but the sub plot of a family living with an autistic disabled child was written by someone who either writes from experience or has amazing empathy"
73.0%

feeling upset

"several nerve endings disturbed and left feeling upset"
72.4%

spying experience

"this is a rather twee love story with only one tale of wartime spying experience"
71.4%

broke me apart

"this broke me apart and put me back together"
70.5%

weird aversion

"i so nearly missed reading this book i have a weird aversion to anything french which possibly stems from being treated pretty badly by the 'french' car showroom admin and the border officers on return journey to germany "
69.1%

difficult war times

"it also grounds you to reality during the difficult war times and what dangers people went through to help their countries"
68.9%

bleak picture

"only criticism is it paints a bleak picture of edinburgh which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world"
68.9%

shed tears

"i’ve smiled frowned and shed tears over all the characters !"
68.7%

dangers people

"it also grounds you to reality during the difficult war times and what dangers people went through to help their countries"
66.6%

awful war years

"the awful war years written with honesty but still with hope"
66.1%

autistic child

"the emotions of relationships and trials of an autistic child are truthful and real"
64.7%

bored with a story

"i often find i get bored with a story and can't finish the book but not with this one"
63.6%

losing a relationship

"the sorrow of losing a relationship and the death of dear relatives and friends comes just too close to home and left me in a puddle of tears the description of such loss is painfully accurate"
63.2%

rather twee

"this is a rather twee love story with only one tale of wartime spying experience"
62.9%

absent father

"having been born during the second world war and having an absent father i am always interested to read storylines that show how families and individuals are affected by war"
62.6%

lose myself

"first time i have read fiona valpy can't wait to lose myself in another sumptuous story"
60.4%

very well done

"it was essential for the rest of the book that one understood the strength of the love between ella and christophe but for me it was just not very well done"
60.0%

bleak scottish winter

"the settings from the bleak scottish winter to the wonder and beauty of the island were beautifully painted"
59.6%

their hopes fears

"a story of brave women their hopes fears loves and loss"
59.3%

her dreams unfulfilled

"so sad when i got to the end but happy to see kendra has all her dreams unfulfilled"
58.6%

gets rescued

"u hold your breath anticipating whether or not ella gets caught or gets rescued"
58.2%

little insight

"whilst a book can not go on forever it would have been lovely to have a little insight into her later life"
57.6%

not miss this book

"do not miss this book"
57.5%

description of such loss

"the sorrow of losing a relationship and the death of dear relatives and friends comes just too close to home and left me in a puddle of tears the description of such loss is painfully accurate"
57.3%

it's empty

"it's empty"
57.1%

shall definitely

"i shall definitely be downloading more of this author"
57.0%

and dying lady

"the story surrounded an old and dying lady who was desperate for her life's story to be told and encouraged her granddaughter to write it for her in the style of a book or novel"
56.0%

overused at times

"i felt the author's research was overused at times as it came across as intrusive and educational"
55.9%

they good or

"it also brought us close the ways that history repeats itself within families and that we have always got choices be they good or bad"
55.8%

entwines past war years

"the story lines entwines past war years with the present"
55.7%

hard to put down

"took a little time to get into this book but then i was hooked and found it hard to put down"
55.7%

were hard times

"although there were hard times in it the characters survived it was a feel good book"
55.6%

have no such history

"i have no such history in my family but i felt as though i knew the characters and deeply felt their emotions"
55.2%

know nothing about

"after reading this it makes you think about your own family going through tough times that you know nothing about"
55.2%

have an autistic

"i also have an autistic son"
55.1%

failed marriage

"as a product of a failed marriage and estranged from my father for most of my life i would have preferred to hear how rhona felt"
54.9%

it's a weepy

"get your tissues ready it's a weepy"
54.9%

author imprints

"even the tragedy that inevitably time produces is tamed by the images that the author imprints"
54.8%

very little story

"in the first few chapters there is very little story with every scene being described in great detail"
54.7%

could not put it down

"i absolutely loved this book and completely lost myself in it it was like time stood still while reading i could not put it down"
54.7%

rushed like some

"not rushed like some but absorbing enough that i didn't get bored"
54.4%

some of the war parts

"i had to skim some of the war parts as i am so apprehensive of violence during suspense passages but hasten to add that this is not a violent book"
54.4%

estranged from my father

"as a product of a failed marriage and estranged from my father for most of my life i would have preferred to hear how rhona felt"
54.4%

made me sad and emotional

"this story made me sad and emotional at times"
54.3%

apprehensive of violence

"i had to skim some of the war parts as i am so apprehensive of violence during suspense passages but hasten to add that this is not a violent book"
54.2%

an obvious ending

"i really enjoyed this book not too many characters and not an obvious ending"
54.0%

will not be the last

"this is the first book i have read by this author but it will not be the last"
53.9%

not guess the ending

"there are many twists and turns in the story line cannot guess the ending"
53.9%

then i gave

"then i gave up"
53.7%

introduced to the trio

"christophe and his sister caroline are a similar age and we are introduced to the trio during a summer holiday to the family holiday residence on the ile de ré just prior to the commencement of the second world war"
53.7%

irritating to listen

"the audio presentation has proved too irritating to listen to"
53.6%

small personal details

"however i felt there was too much unnecessary small personal details which hampered the flow"
53.4%

long time sine

"but i was hooked by the characters the writing and it is a long time sine i cried at the end so thank you for a lovely read"
53.4%

taxing as a read

"it's not taxing as a read but never the less it is a good book to while a few hours away"
53.3%

very begging

"this book captures you from the very begging"
53.3%

enough no spoiling

"but that's enough no spoiling: i'll leave you to try it for yourself"
53.1%

horrors of what happened

"the story is something that you can relate to as so many people have got some association with the second world war and the horrors of what happened"
52.8%

strains and stresses

"the story evoked the ambiance of the ile de re and very much the strains and stresses of war"
52.6%

not a violent book

"i had to skim some of the war parts as i am so apprehensive of violence during suspense passages but hasten to add that this is not a violent book"
52.1%

very short time

"in fact i couldn't wait to get back to it when i had the chance and i finished it in a very short time"
52.0%

left feeling frustrated

"an easy read but left feeling frustrated"
51.3%

hampered the flow

"however i felt there was too much unnecessary small personal details which hampered the flow"
51.3%

difficult to listen

"my only complaint is that i find the narrator very difficult to listen to"
51.3%

n't spoil my enjoyment

"i liked all the characters even though to be honest they were all too good to be true but that didn't spoil my enjoyment"
50.9%

never really forgetting

"ella went through what a lot of women did during wars losing a love moving on but never really forgetting"
50.8%

only read crime

"not my usual genre as i only read crime "
50.7%

book would never

"i really wished the book would never end"
50.6%
...

Compare Pros

absolutely excellent in both products

"absolutely excellent reads"
99.9%

really enjoyable in both products

"really enjoyable book"
99.9%

beautifully written in both products

"the most important thing is that it has been meticulously researched and beautifully written"
99.9%

most wonderful in both products

"this is the most wonderful book and like all the best literature only improves with re reading"
99.8%

great writer in both products

"hilary mantel is of course a great writer"
99.8%

very enjoyable in both products

"certainly there are pages which are easy to read and very enjoyable but others need careful reading and thought"
99.7%

amazing story in both products

"wolf hall is the amazing story of thomas cromwell"
99.7%

fascinating story in both products

"a fascinating story telling of a truly turbulent time in english history and the key part played in that history by thomas cromwell"
98.6%

great story in both products

"great story and wonderful to imagine tudor england from cromwell's perspective"
97.5%

good insight in both products

"an excellent read a good insight into tudor history and what was likely to have actually happened in conversation between thomas cromwell and others"
96.8%

well structured in both products

"much better than history text books not sure how accurate though it all is but very absorbing and well structured"
93.6%

truly amazing in both products

"its more political and a truly amazing read"
93.5%

well written in both products

"well written this also reminds us that in many ways this was when england started to take a more prominent place on the european and thus the world stage"
91.2%

just brilliant in both products

"brilliant just brilliant"
88.5%

look forward in both products

"i really enjoyed it and look forward to reading this year's winner "bring out the bodies""
74.8%

five stars in both products

"i have given this book five stars because"
74.7%

enjoyed this in both products

"i enjoyed this from start to finish and am always recommending it"
74.6%

riveting read in both products

"glad i read it before the tv program as it put in much more detail a riveting read"
74.5%

vivid picture in both products

"mantel is a gifted writer saying much with few words and painting a vivid picture of life in tudor england"
74.5%

great book in both products

"great book"
74.4%

really brilliant

"really brilliant"
100.0%

completely brilliant

"completely brilliant"
100.0%

enjoyed it enormously

"after i'd got used to the style i enjoyed it enormously"
100.0%

thoroughly enjoyable

"thoroughly enjoyable book characters are brilliantly drawn and there is a tension building throughout so that you are pulled into the life and times of cromwell henry and the brilliant anne boleyn"
100.0%

brilliant piece

"so well written a brilliant piece of history"
100.0%

amazing mastery

"it's an astonishing feat of imagination and amazing mastery of a swathe of history"
100.0%

truly wonderful

"this is a truly wonderful book the prose regularly stunning runs like a liquid balm through one's brain"
100.0%

remarkable achievement

"hilary mantel's reimagining of this period of history and the effective creation of thomas cromwell as the key protagonist is a remarkable achievement"
100.0%

brilliant authoress

"she is a brilliant authoress"
100.0%

superb writer

"mantel is a superb writer with a distinct and unusual narrative style"
100.0%

thoroughly enjoyed

"lots of characters and cromwell comes across as a "nice guy" which i am not sure about hence the need to do some research but no thoroughly enjoyed the read"
100.0%

perfect performance

"however after hearing this perfect performance i wish it was integral"
100.0%

most powerful

"his humble origins as an abused child who rose to be the most powerful in the land"
100.0%

stunning best

"historical literature at its stunning best"
99.9%

really excellent

"really excellent read"
99.9%

greatest strength

"an excellent book being indentified so closely with cromwell in his head is both the greatest strength and its only real weakness"
99.9%

extraordinary writing

"yes it's a challenging read but it's a joy to encounter such extraordinary writing"
99.9%

wonderful writing

"wonderful book wonderful writing"
99.9%

highly acclaimed

"my mum was delighted to be able to read this highly acclaimed book and i suspect i will have to get her 'bring up the bodies ' too!"
99.9%

apparently effortless

"this apparently effortless evocation of time and place means that all you are aware of and care about is the journey that these characters are on and accompanying them on it from the beginning to the end"
99.9%

brilliant insight

"thomas cromwell is portrayed with brilliant insight"
99.9%

simply stunning

"this is simply stunning"
99.9%

incredibly clever

"it's incredibly clever the way hillary mantel has written this half from the thoughts in cromwell's head and also seamlessly interspersed with conversation"
99.9%

highly interesting

"it is very well written as it covers a rather complicated but highly interesting period of history"
99.8%

great clarity

"this is no lightweight and yet most of it reads easily and with great clarity"
99.8%

such success

"it is no surprise that this outstanding book has achieved such success both in literary awards and in popularity"
99.8%

highest quality

"literature of the highest quality with a new slant on thomas cromwell"
99.7%

writing interesting

"a good read the author has her own way of writing interesting"
99.7%

astonishing feat

"it's an astonishing feat of imagination and amazing mastery of a swathe of history"
99.5%

great thanks

"great thanks"
99.5%

fascinating insight

"found the book a fascinating insight into the time of thomas cromwell king henry 8th and thomas more but there are so many characters that you really need to be able to check back every so often to remind yourself of who they all are"
99.4%

sheer genius

"sheer genius"
99.4%

best writer

"possibly the best writer in english since lawrence durrell"
99.2%

brilliant tv series

"brilliant tv series what more could anyone ask"
99.2%

scenes master

"such a well researched novel and evokes as much realism as possible into this turbulent part in history from the viewpoint of a behind the scenes master"
99.2%

brilliant first book

"brilliant first book of trilogy"
98.8%

excellent company

"just like having a fabulous meal every evening with excellent company"
98.3%

stunning detail

"stunning detail"
97.9%

brilliant voyage

"brilliant voyage through the court of henry the eighth through the eyes of his chancellor thomas cromwell"
97.5%

excellent author

"an excellent author"
97.3%

brilliant bring

"fantastic brilliant bring on the superlatives!"
96.9%

excellent exploration

"this is an excellent exploration of the life and times of thomas cromwell"
96.4%

most engaging

"whilst i did enjoy the way it was told i found the most engaging part was the narrating by dan stevens"
96.0%

good friend

"a good friend of mine whose reading taste i usually share recommended this book to me so i hoped for a great read"
96.0%

breathtaking account

"simply breathtaking account of the early years and rise to prominence of thomas cromwell at the court of henry viii"
95.2%

prize success

"i've read other books by hilary mantel and enjoyed them and with all the news about her booker prize success i had to try this one"
94.7%

marked down

"only marked down because of the constant use of 'he' for thomas cromwell try to ignore that and you are in for a treat with this period vividly brought to life"
94.4%

excellent and informative

"once you get used to the style an excellent and informative read"
93.9%

hugely talented

"these exchanges are so alive and fresh that something that happened around 600 years ago feels contemporary and vital yet sufficiently authentic to place you in this other time and place on its own terms to feel so involved as a contemporary in what would be an alien world is no mean feat and is one of the many reasons to congratulate this hugely talented writer"
93.1%

just excellent

"just excellent"
93.1%

portrayed sympathetically

"thomas cromwell portrayed sympathetically"
93.1%

brilliantly drawn

"thoroughly enjoyable book characters are brilliantly drawn and there is a tension building throughout so that you are pulled into the life and times of cromwell henry and the brilliant anne boleyn"
93.1%

truly great

"a truly great novel and i can't wait to start the sequel"
92.7%

especially fascinating

"the book is especially fascinating because as an inhabitant of ipswichi cannot get enough of wolsey and thomas cromwell"
91.8%

alive and fresh

"these exchanges are so alive and fresh that something that happened around 600 years ago feels contemporary and vital yet sufficiently authentic to place you in this other time and place on its own terms to feel so involved as a contemporary in what would be an alien world is no mean feat and is one of the many reasons to congratulate this hugely talented writer"
91.7%

prize winning book

"interestingly i tweeted that i was reading a prize winning book that was impossible to follow but did not name the author"
91.6%

portrayed so vividly

"thomas cromwell is portrayed so vividly that one feels one knows him and he is made both human and likeable but scary"
90.8%

richness of the research

"the richness of the research the clarity and freshness of the writing are wonderful"
90.5%

winning author

"originally chose this because i wanted to know what made a prize winning author"
90.2%

brilliant anne boleyn

"thoroughly enjoyable book characters are brilliantly drawn and there is a tension building throughout so that you are pulled into the life and times of cromwell henry and the brilliant anne boleyn"
90.1%

compelling style

"how wrong i was from the first page i was hooked and totally enthralled by the character of cromwell who mantel brings alive in such a compelling style"
90.0%

beautiful writing

"beautiful writing by ms mantel"
89.9%

great work

"put aside any preconceptions you may have about this period in history or in historical novels or in this book in particular and indulge yourself in this great work"
89.8%

psychological insight

"powerful narration psychological insight every sentence perfectly crafted"
89.5%

very well researched

"the style is a little too self consciously affected for me to give the book 5 stars but it's a period i love to read about and is very well researched and apart from the affectations written so overall i would recommend it"
89.3%

genuine wisdom

"the style was at times beautiful and deeply moving with moments of genuine wisdom but there were also times i just couldn't figure out who was who or what was what"
89.3%

enjoyable insight

"the book gives an enjoyable insight into the history of the period"
89.1%

good counsellor

"the invisible hand that guides the book much as he is the relatively invisible hand guiding the better known principles from one of the pivotal moments in england's history is so thoroughly alive and authentic that we inhabit him from the get go and he guides and maintains our involvement from the beginning to the end as any good counsellor should"
88.8%

detailed and engaging

"extremely detailed and engaging"
88.6%

humourous and fascinating

"hugely well researched humourous and fascinating"
88.6%

complicated but brilliant

"complicated but brilliant"
88.6%

followed brilliantly

"phenomenal work and followed brilliantly by bring up the bodies"
88.4%

clarity and freshness

"the richness of the research the clarity and freshness of the writing are wonderful"
88.2%

brilliant and fascinating

"not an easy read but both brilliant and fascinating"
87.9%

attractive psychopath

"thomas cromwell is an attractive psychopath"
87.8%

well worthwile

"choose a time when you can sit quietly and read a large chunk at a time to really get into it perseverance is well worthwile"
87.7%

search for a winner

"i am in wonder at judges' choices from a shark in formaldehyde to a dishevelled bed to priceless works of art entitled 'orange red yellow' the search for a winner in a given field must be for someone who is willing to challenge the system and our belief in how it should be done"
87.2%

solid determination

"not being a fan of period works usually it lacked some relevance for this reader but was interesting for its portrayal of the manouverings of love interests around the court the solid determination of cromwell and the revealtion of the basis for the religious reformation as being a type of helen of troy where the king's obsession with having a woman leads to covert tactics to change the entire religious system"
75.0%

safely well

"book arrived quickly safely well packaged with respect for environment"
75.0%

equally compelling

"for those who grew up with 'a man for all seasons' this book gives quite a different perspective on the characters of more and cromwell and is equally compelling"
75.0%

great deal

"the historical characters are bought to life by mantel who must have engaged in a great deal of research to ensure historic accuracy not only in the known history but in details around food clothing furnishings and lifestyle"
75.0%

supreme ideal

"his intention to serve not power but the supreme ideal of justice'"
75.0%

educational imaginative

"compelling intelligent educational imaginative"
74.9%

really well

"superb book really well researched excellent characterisation and development of characters reads in a familiar style pages turn easily bringing the later part of the reign of henry viii to life"
74.9%

more prominent

"all of this was of course to serve him well making money for himself and his family but his relationship with wolsey was to prove a high point as such because this brought him into a more prominent position increasing his ability to network and move in the higher echelons of society"
74.9%

real intimacy

"which is a little confusing if you get more than one 'he' in the scene but it is very much worth the effort of getting to grips with and brings a real intimacy to the unfolding events"
74.8%

astonishing rise

"henryv111's turbulent and historically momentous tudor england witnesses the astonishing rise to power of thomas cromwell a humble blacksmith's son from putney who expertly engineers all henry's wishes"
74.8%

very quickly

"i tried to read this once before and gave up very quickly becasue i found the style of writing difficut to cope with"
74.8%

could happily

"now read it three times and could happily start again"
74.8%

fairly well

"as a novel this works fairly well"
74.8%

light entertainment

"if you want light entertainment i'm afraid this is probably not the book for you"
74.8%

their surroundings

"it is extremely well written the descriptions of the characters and details of their surroundings are very believable so that i felt transported back in time"
74.7%

educational adult

"entertaining educational adult enlightening"
74.7%

outstanding book

"it is no surprise that this outstanding book has achieved such success both in literary awards and in popularity"
74.7%

invigorating style

"invigorating style and often witty"
74.6%

massive enthusiast

"now it must be said that i am not just a historical fiction fan but a massive enthusiast of all things tudor related"
74.6%

abridged version

"i bought this fully knowing it was an abridged version as i have already read wolf hall twice and didn't want to suffer through the slow parts"
74.5%

recommended read

"on the whole a recommended read"
74.5%

perfectly crafted

"powerful narration psychological insight every sentence perfectly crafted"
74.5%

timely delivery

"timely delivery and good value"
74.5%

completely fresh

"i saw cromwell from a completely fresh perspective"
74.5%

will probably

"i will probably go on to read the follow up bring up the bodies' it was interesting the way a story was weaved into the actual historical facts of the period"
74.4%

great charm

"but this adds to the book's great charm for me as it affirms the uncertainty of the period and the fragile lives led by most of the characters which mostly seemed to hang by a thread"
74.4%

fantastic romantic figure

"i have decided to fix my atrocious lack of knowledge of history this year and i thought he tudors were a great place to start henry xiii is a fantastic romantic figure with whom you can spin off a multitude of fictional stories as are the prominent figures of his company namely thomas cromwell the protagonist of this book"
74.4%

worthy winners

"they are both worthy winners of the booker"
74.4%

driven plotting

"yes it takes a while to get into the prose but only a few pages then the words drift along in a dreamlike twilight of twists and turns of fully realised character driven plotting"
74.4%

carefully researched

"but the book gives a great feel for the period is carefully researched and very engaging"
74.4%

good condition

"it was described as v good condition"
74.4%

intimate point

"an intimate point of view on both life in tudor times the reformation and the lives of prominent figures such as henry viii anne boleyn and of course thomas cromwell"
74.3%

delivered promptly

"this product was delivered promptly and undamaged"
74.3%

working well

"i am reading and simultaneously watching the tv series which is working well"
74.3%

most dramatic

"a tour de force in providing both an insight into the mind of one of our most influential and conflicted public servant and politicians and a sense of how it must have been to live through one of the most dramatic political religious and social periods of our island history"
74.3%

wholly engaging

"cleverly written from inside the character of thomas cromwell the historical arch villain of the period it provides a wholly engaging and believable insight into the complicated politics of the time and human relationships at court"
74.3%

humble beginnings

"from humble beginnings then we see the rise of thomas cromwell to a trusted aide and righthand man to cardinal wolsey and beyond"
74.3%

very interesting

"very interesting"
74.3%

glowing praise

"the glowing praise for this book prompted me to read it"
74.3%

good value

"item is good value for money book is in great condition"
74.3%

enjoy this

"if you've got a spare week you'll enjoy this"
74.3%

delivered quickly

"great price & delivered quickly"
74.2%

driven piece

"infused with humour and humanity throughout this character driven piece is so thoroughly entertaining and engrossing that i cannot recommend it enough"
74.2%

more comfortable

"at a time when apart from the living conditions of many and poor health so we arrive at the top where things can be more comfortable but with any mistake or causing displeasure for the king can bring upon you turmoil and even death so one has to tread carefully"
74.2%

favourite book

"not my favourite book but i can't deny that it's a very well written narrative of thomas cromwell's life"
74.2%

absolutely fair

"to be absolutely fair i've only read the first third of it but after all the hype i thought by now i'd be carrying it around the house with me not being able to put it down!"
74.2%

enjoyable enough

"i found it enjoyable enough but not remarkable"
74.2%

sympathetic character

"personally i found this account far more interesting in its presentation of thomas cromwell as a sympathetic character another victim of his time than as the ruthless politician he is generally portrayed as being ruthlessness there is however!"
74.2%

quality writing

"but nevertheless this is quality writing"
74.2%

fantastic read

"this is a fantastic read"
74.1%

vivid account

"tudor times are brought to life in this vivid account in a fictionalised form with rich textures and reflective passages that give a depth of image to the characters"
74.1%

excellent book

"excellent book beautifully written engaging timeless human drama don't believe the haters"
74.1%

vivid characters

"an impressively authentic and immaculately written period work that brought some vivid characters to life around the royal court at that time"
74.1%

well worth

"all in all well worth reading and highly recommend hope it's not too long before hilary mantel comes up with the 3rd and final book in this series"
74.1%

interesting viewpoint

"it was an interesting viewpoint of well known historical events and was very different from other historical fiction i have read"
74.1%

excellent read

"an excellent read a good insight into tudor history and what was likely to have actually happened in conversation between thomas cromwell and others"
74.0%

totally absorbing

"a totally absorbing work"
74.0%

great character

"totally empathise with thomas cromwell what a great character"
74.0%

meteoric rise

"an unusual slant on the tale of anne boleyn and henry viii viewed from the perspective of thomas cromwell following his meteoric rise to power from his poor background in london"
74.0%

court intrigues

"this is a very engaging tale that brings the early part of henry viii's reign to life with court intrigues"
74.0%

true account

"her writing however is so good and so well researched that it feels as if it is a true account of the events described and fully immerses you in the ways of tudor society"
74.0%

iconic figures

"hilary mantel manages to show iconic figures in history like henry viii cardinal wolsey anne boleyn and of course thomas cromwell in all their humanity"
74.0%

book saint

"and yet in this book saint thomas moore is slandered"
73.9%

personality loving

"but he has a real personality loving and losing wife and children like many others"
73.9%

interesting take

"interesting take on the person of thomas cromwell"
73.9%

believable presence

"we will never really know what he was like but mantel does give him a believable presence that we can sympathise with as he places himself in a position where he has to deal with the politics of the time and become a statesman"
73.9%

enjoyed reading

"i really enjoyed reading this on holiday"
73.9%

much clearer

"but the book is so much clearer and"
73.9%

fabulous meal

"just like having a fabulous meal every evening with excellent company"
73.8%

very absorbing

"much better than history text books not sure how accurate though it all is but very absorbing and well structured"
73.8%

cromwell henry

"thoroughly enjoyable book characters are brilliantly drawn and there is a tension building throughout so that you are pulled into the life and times of cromwell henry and the brilliant anne boleyn"
73.8%

greatly acclaimed

"just couldn't get interested too much irrelevant detail stopped the flow of the story clearly well researched and greatly acclaimed"
73.8%

large positive

"i've read so many reviews about this book most of them varied though by and large positive in their appreciation of hilary mantel's ability to breathe life into the characters in wolf hall"
73.8%

interesting read

"the author has a good review so it looks like an interesting read"
73.7%

wholly believable

"all historical figures are well researched and wholly believable"
73.7%

human and likeable

"thomas cromwell is portrayed so vividly that one feels one knows him and he is made both human and likeable but scary"
73.7%

great feeling

"it has a great feeling for the period though and the psychology of the characters especially 'him' thos cromwell is well drawn"
73.6%

impressively authentic

"an impressively authentic and immaculately written period work that brought some vivid characters to life around the royal court at that time"
73.6%

sympathetic portrayal

"unusually sympathetic portrayal of thomas cromwell"
73.6%

research spot

"her research spot on"
73.6%

spirit good

"all that said i know this is essentially a work of fiction albeit based on historical fact but for me the point is that it is a creation of a life that can be admired for all the things it tells us about the human spirit good and bad"
73.5%

rich perspective

"tudor times with the intrigue and politics of henry's court brought into rich perspective"
73.5%

good holiday

"so if you are looking for a good holiday read then this probably isnt it as it is very much in the literary style after all you woouldnt expect anything less of a booker prize winner"
73.5%

totally different slant

"it gave me a totally different slant on the character of thomas cromwell who i always believed to be a scheming bad man but hilary mantel showed him in a different light a self educated man who rose from an awful childhood to be the right hand man of henry viii"
73.5%

excellent condition

"arrived on time and in excellent condition"
73.5%

achieve greatness

"a clearer view of the life and times of cromwell is a great bonus and sheds further light on an age of change where the brightest young men of england and to a lesser bur significant extent young women could achieve greatness"
73.4%

breathe life

"i've read so many reviews about this book most of them varied though by and large positive in their appreciation of hilary mantel's ability to breathe life into the characters in wolf hall"
73.4%

book absorbing

"even if your interest in history is only slight you will find this book absorbing"
73.4%

more significant

"i've read it before but enjoyed it more the second time as you notice more significant detail"
73.3%

pivotal moments

"the invisible hand that guides the book much as he is the relatively invisible hand guiding the better known principles from one of the pivotal moments in england's history is so thoroughly alive and authentic that we inhabit him from the get go and he guides and maintains our involvement from the beginning to the end as any good counsellor should"
73.3%

fits perfectly

"in my reading of 'wolf hall' i had mark rylance's voice which fits perfectly to the author's cromwell dialogue with hans holbein's imagery "
73.3%

thoroughly recommended

"5 star reading and thoroughly recommended"
73.3%

great bonus

"a clearer view of the life and times of cromwell is a great bonus and sheds further light on an age of change where the brightest young men of england and to a lesser bur significant extent young women could achieve greatness"
73.2%

went along

"i did find it a little long and found myself skimming some passages but as my first ebook i loved the facility to look up historical information as i went along"
73.2%

humour thomas

"what i wasn’t expecting is the humour thomas is very funny with a dry wit"
73.2%

gifted writer

"mantel is a gifted writer saying much with few words and painting a vivid picture of life in tudor england"
73.2%

even better

"even better than before she really gives that feel of a moving situation in a time that he brings to life"
73.2%

awed excitement

"okay i know i'm a philistine for not leaping about in awed excitement at this supposed masterpiece but i did find it tiresome in its style using the present tense all the time and difficult to follow sometimes as she uses the personal pronoun 'he' far too often leaving me unsure of whom she's writing about"
73.2%

quite amusing

"generally it's quite amusing as it describes reactions and behaviour of all the characters not just the principals"
73.1%

well recommended

"well recommended"
73.1%

very clever

"thomas cromwell as a hero is a new take for me and now admire him immensely as a very clever shrewd and caring person shown by how he looks after his family and friends"
73.1%

great credit

"i can almost see him as i read and his thoughts in most cases do him great credit"
73.1%

staying alive

"the anti hero hero a story of personal motivation in a savage irrationally savage world where there is little if any justice and after all the struggles for survival individuals are left with no human reason for staying alive in spite of the apparent godliness of all the main characters"
73.0%

deeply moving

"the style was at times beautiful and deeply moving with moments of genuine wisdom but there were also times i just couldn't figure out who was who or what was what"
73.0%

supremely confident

"she is deft and supremely confident"
72.9%

supreme pragmatist

"thomas in this version is a ‘fixer’ the supreme pragmatist who does what has to be done to whoever needs sorting out"
72.9%

ready to read

"easy to download ready to read"
72.9%

best things

"one of the best things i've read in recent times"
72.8%

comes alive

"cromwell the man comes alive: he shows the scars experiences fears doubts frailties desires and ambitions that shape him just as they shape each of us"
72.8%

fashioned thriller

"give me a good old fashioned thriller any day!"
72.8%

historically momentous

"henryv111's turbulent and historically momentous tudor england witnesses the astonishing rise to power of thomas cromwell a humble blacksmith's son from putney who expertly engineers all henry's wishes"
72.8%

unusual slant

"an unusual slant on the tale of anne boleyn and henry viii viewed from the perspective of thomas cromwell following his meteoric rise to power from his poor background in london"
72.7%

nice voice

"great book well read in a nice voice"
72.6%

highly recommended

"highly recommended"
72.6%

writing flows

"the writing flows wonderfully and i can understand why it won the booker prize"
72.5%

trusted aide

"from humble beginnings then we see the rise of thomas cromwell to a trusted aide and righthand man to cardinal wolsey and beyond"
72.5%

greater safety

"i've just ordered a place of greater safety and also want to read bring out the bodies next"
72.5%

star rating

"i would have given it a 5 star rating if paragraph breaks had been used to avoid the confusion"
72.4%

love history

"i am a real book worm and i love history and i loved this the story and the writing style"
72.2%

awesome talent

"wow am i envious of her awesome talent"
72.2%

great condition

"item is good value for money book is in great condition"
71.9%

priceless works

"i am in wonder at judges' choices from a shark in formaldehyde to a dishevelled bed to priceless works of art entitled 'orange red yellow' the search for a winner in a given field must be for someone who is willing to challenge the system and our belief in how it should be done"
71.9%

much better

"much better than history text books not sure how accurate though it all is but very absorbing and well structured"
71.9%

huge number of copies

"this book has sold a huge number of copies and been made into a big budget tv series"
71.4%

relatively well

"a relatively well known story but from a different perspective"
71.4%

enormous personality

"the loss of his family haunts this book as does his awareness of ghosts of the past those who lived in a house before him and cardinal wolsey’s enormous personality"
71.0%

recommend this

"i would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a read which has depth truth and life about it"
70.9%

love interests

"not being a fan of period works usually it lacked some relevance for this reader but was interesting for its portrayal of the manouverings of love interests around the court the solid determination of cromwell and the revealtion of the basis for the religious reformation as being a type of helen of troy where the king's obsession with having a woman leads to covert tactics to change the entire religious system"
70.9%

real insight

"we learn in this book of his machinations in more detail and get a real insight into him as a human being"
70.9%

good story

"this is a great book for history buffs who also like a good story"
70.9%

learnt lots

"learnt lots about english history"
70.8%

very rewarding

"a very rewarding read"
70.8%

innovative style

"i'm not normally a fan of historical novels but the innovative style and present tense places the reader firmly in the 16th century"
70.6%

very insightful

"i found it a really engrossing read and very insightful"
70.6%

assisting wolsey

"assisting wolsey here we see the problems that arise with henry wanting to divorce his first wife for anne boleyn and the part that luther and his protestant beliefs were to assist in this matter"
70.5%

fascinating trilogy

"when it comes to the last book of this fascinating trilogy i will dread reading about his demise and execution"
70.5%

king henry

"found the book a fascinating insight into the time of thomas cromwell king henry 8th and thomas more but there are so many characters that you really need to be able to check back every so often to remind yourself of who they all are"
70.4%

reflective passages

"tudor times are brought to life in this vivid account in a fictionalised form with rich textures and reflective passages that give a depth of image to the characters"
70.4%

present recipient

"bought this as a present recipient was delighted"
70.4%

pure indulgence

"this was pure indulgence into the medieval world being very interested in history i tackled this with the usual cynicism but i was absolutely gripped from the fist chapter"
70.3%

excellent actors

"with the wonderful mark rylance in mind the other characters rounded out by excellent actors and the fabulous settings i got even more out of the book than i had the first couple of times round whilst battling to read a bulky book at the lunch and breakfast table!"
70.3%

rich and beautifully

"the writing is rich and beautifully done"
70.2%

interesting subject

"an interesting subject written in an unusual way"
70.1%

utterly gripping

"utterly gripping"
69.8%

great reads

"print or e book i think "wolf hall" is superb and it goes into my pantheon of "great reads""
69.8%

glad that i

"however i bought the book and on balance was glad that i did"
69.7%

course henry viii

"mantel has made her characters spring to life with convincing reality particularly of course henry viii himself who dominates the narrative"
69.6%

enjoy historical novels

"if you enjoy historical novels and literary fiction this is for you"
69.5%

like poetry

"some of her descriptive passages are like poetry"
69.5%

immense influence

"cromwell an immense influence on the politics of the day has always been a bit of a shadowy figure to me so it was interesting to see the world from his point of view"
69.4%

great way to save money

"great way to save money"
69.4%

more easily

"however after watching the tv series i thought i would go to a more easily portable version and bought the kindle e book"
69.3%

great read

"altogether a great read"
69.3%
...

absolutely excellent in both products

"absolutely excellent read"
99.9%

really enjoyable in both products

"really enjoyable read"
99.9%

beautifully written in both products

"beautifully written i found myself being transported to the island tasting the salty air feeling the warmth of the sun and hearing the waves on the"
99.9%

most wonderful in both products

"it’s been an emotional roller coaster and the most wonderful holiday read"
99.8%

great writer in both products

"the story had my heart soaring at points and plumbing the depths at others the marks of a great writer and a great read!"
99.8%

very enjoyable in both products

"very enjoyable book"
99.7%

amazing story in both products

"an amazing story from start to finish"
99.7%

highly recommend in both products

"highly recommend"
99.6%

thoroughly enjoy in both products

"a book that you should make time to read in peace and thoroughly enjoy"
98.7%

fascinating story in both products

"this is a fascinating story"
98.6%

great story in both products

"what a great story"
97.5%

well structured in both products

"but this is a well structured novel full of colours and with real depth to the characters and some good insights into human nature"
93.6%

truly amazing in both products

"what a truly amazing well written book"
93.5%

well written in both products

"what a truly amazing well written book"
91.2%

just brilliant in both products

"just brilliant"
88.5%

look forward in both products

"a wonderful ending and a time to look forward to the future and happy times ahead"
74.8%

five stars in both products

"i give it five stars for its easy reading and my desire to see this novel through"
74.7%

riveting read in both products

"a fascinating riveting read"
74.5%

vivid picture in both products

"the author paints a vivid picture of the french resort that is irresistible and exquisite"
74.5%

great book in both products

"what a great book!"
74.4%

really beautiful

"a really beautiful love story"
100.0%

simply beautiful

"simply beautiful"
100.0%

absolutely brilliant

"one of the most beautiful books i have ever read had many a tear reading this lovely story felt like i was in france with them absolutely brilliant loved it thank you"
100.0%

very exciting

"it was very exciting in places descriptive in other parts and the characters were very real"
100.0%

excellent story

"excellent story very well told"
100.0%

amazingly beautiful

"i found this book profound and amazingly beautiful"
100.0%

delightful treasure

"this book is a delightful treasure and i resented having it end"
100.0%

most beautiful

"one of the most beautiful books i have ever read had many a tear reading this lovely story felt like i was in france with them absolutely brilliant loved it thank you"
100.0%

wonderful experience

"thank you fi on a valpy for such a wonderful experience"
100.0%

brilliant story

"what an absolutely fantastic book this is i read this book because of the reviews it got and i have not been disappointed brilliant book brilliant story i just wanted to keep turning the pages but at ten the same time didn't want the book to end "
100.0%

truly exceptional

"the story of ella's life told to and written by her granddaughter kendra is a truly exceptional read"
100.0%

superb story

"and a superb story within a story"
100.0%

very likeable

"i very much enjoyed reading this book the story was interesting and the characters very likeable particularly caroline who was a very gentle and generous person a wonderful friend to ella and sister to christophe"
100.0%

truly beautiful

"her relationships with both men was truly beautiful"
100.0%

great storyline

"great storyline with not to many characters"
100.0%

captivating story

"a gentle captivating story set in two eras & two locations separated by many decades & many miles"
99.9%

exceedingly likeable

"all the characters are exceedingly likeable although i feel her daughter was particularly harsh and unforgiving"
99.9%

absolutely fantastic

"what an absolutely fantastic book this is i read this book because of the reviews it got and i have not been disappointed brilliant book brilliant story i just wanted to keep turning the pages but at ten the same time didn't want the book to end "
99.9%

excellent holiday read

"an excellent holiday read"
99.9%

charming story

"i visited the island many years ago and can truly appreciate its beauty retraced in this charming story of love"
99.9%

beautifully told

"it was a beautifully told story in more ways than one read the book and you’ll understand "
99.9%

pure delight

"pure delight"
99.9%

wonderfully descriptive

"i love the wonderfully descriptive background you feel like you are there with the characters"
99.9%

amazing clarity

"she writes beautifully and manages to invoke images scenery and people with amazing clarity"
99.8%

dreamy pace

"a slow dreamy pace but worth reading to the end"
99.7%

enjoyed this positive

"even i a mere male enjoyed this positive and we'll elaborated tale"
99.6%

strongly recommend

"strongly recommend"
99.4%

really good

"of course this is not world literature but this book was really good company to me especially the beautiful descriptions of their many holidays by the french seaside"
99.3%

swept along

"this book especially has several life lessons between the pages and i enjoyed every minute of being swept along on the wave"
99.2%

wonderful sentiments

"wonderful sentiments"
99.0%

well crafted

"it is gentle sensitive and well crafted with descriptions of a french summer that catch your breath"
98.9%

nice piece

"it made a change from thrillers mass murders and blood letting to read a nice piece of narrative"
98.8%

wonderfully memorable

"i lived in east lothian and edinburgh for many years so it was all wonderfully memorable for me i have been once many years ago to la rochelle and am now inspired to go back!"
97.9%

treasure beauty

"i treasure beauty and this is a beautiful story"
97.5%

wonderful story

"what a wonderful story and so well written"
97.1%

really super

"this book is a really super story from the start to the finish"
96.9%

wonderful friend

"i very much enjoyed reading this book the story was interesting and the characters very likeable particularly caroline who was a very gentle and generous person a wonderful friend to ella and sister to christophe"
96.4%

amazing loved

"it was amazing loved it"
96.3%

superb author

"fiona valpy is a superb author and i look forward to reading more of her works"
96.3%

precious life

"made me feel how precious life is and always be "the better person" loved it"
95.6%

wonderful character

"ella is a wonderful character expertly written and the book is very descriptive i felt i was in her shoes"
94.7%

literary triumph

"well done fiona valpy a literary triumph"
94.0%

finely drawn

"the characters were finely drawn and believable"
93.9%

absolutely loved

"i absolutely loved it"
93.5%

portrayed finn

"as a former worker with adults with learning difficulties i appreciated the accurate manner you portrayed finn"
93.1%

told so beautifully

"i loved this book it is told so beautifully and keeps you guessing and hoping for the outcome of the stories running parallel throughout i would recommend this to all women"
93.1%

loved it loved

"loved it loved it!"
93.1%

wonderful and beautiful

"a wonderful and beautiful described story of love against all challenges and adversity"
93.1%

wrenching and beautiful

"i found the story heart wrenching and beautiful"
93.0%

just wonderful

"descriptions of the ile de re where parts of the story are set are just wonderful"
93.0%

love shines

"the characters are all believable they have to deal with what life has given them but through it all love shines through"
93.0%

amazing author

"what an amazing author"
92.9%

clever writer

"i absolutely loved it fiona valpy is such a clever writer it was so moving and it just goes to show that although people will judge you for supposedly not doing the right thing nothing is ever straightforward where love is concerned but don’t take my word for it read it yourself am confident you will not be disappointed"
92.1%

hope you enjoy it

"i hope you enjoy it too"
92.1%

utterly brilliant

"i actually felt that i was right there in the middle of the story utterly brilliant"
91.6%

all the more fascinating

"it kept my attention right the way through and the changes in time made it all the more fascinating"
91.5%

enthralling & romantic

"i really enjoyed reading this story once i got into it because it was intriguing enthralling & romantic"
91.0%

everybody else i loved

"like everybody else i loved this book"
91.0%

wonderful tale

"it was a wonderful tale of love heartache and realisation that you are never too old to dream"
90.8%

interested not too much

"just enough information to keep you interested not too much that it confused or bored"
90.8%

neat and perfect

"however i did feel that it was all a little too neat and perfect despite the more realistic modern narrative"
90.6%

truly lovely

"what a truly lovely story"
90.6%

smile lots

"i couldn't put it down its just so real it's a beautiful book made me cry smile lots of emotions i felt like i was reading someone's dairy like i was there it's the best book i've read for a while and i read lots of books i look forward to reading more from this author"
90.2%

good stories

"a real page turner for lovers of good stories"
89.4%

just loved

"just loved every thing about the way it was written"
89.2%

wonderfully inspirational

"your book is so full of love and emotion as well as being wonderfully inspirational"
89.2%

very well told

"excellent story very well told"
89.2%

wonderfully engaging

"a wonderfully engaging and descriptive story"
89.2%

wonderful love story

"she weaves an intriguing fascinating inter generational story that transports the reader through physical and emotional dangers drawing one into the centre of a wonderful love story"
88.8%

very good and interesting

"a very good and interesting story which kept my attention throughout as it traced through the years"
88.8%

eloquently written

"so eloquently written making one feel part of the story"
88.6%

believable and charming

"the characters felt believable and charming"
88.6%

vibrant and alive

"her descriptive passages and her characters were vibrant and alive"
88.6%

believable and satisfying

"the love stories were a delight also very believable and satisfying"
88.6%

hope and happiness

"the pain of life and learning to see beauty and find hope and happiness through it all"
88.5%

loved it thank

"one of the most beautiful books i have ever read had many a tear reading this lovely story felt like i was in france with them absolutely brilliant loved it thank you"
88.4%

delight to read

"it was a delight to read "
88.0%

well honed

"i chose this rating because it told a wonderful story with well honed and believable characters"
87.7%

were amazing

"beautifully written two of the letters sent were amazing and brought me to tears"
75.0%

magical setting

"how vivid was the magical setting of this wonderful story"
75.0%

great sensitivity

"she treats the themes of love in its many guises of friendship family loyalty and the challenges of parenting with great sensitivity"
75.0%

gentle sensitive

"it is gentle sensitive and well crafted with descriptions of a french summer that catch your breath"
75.0%

living happily

"which allowed me to keep on living happily"
75.0%

good ending

"a good ending"
75.0%

timeless themes

"timeless themes "
75.0%

very believable

"the characters were all very believable i loved the switch of the storyline from edinburgh which i know very well to france and the reflections of èlla` during the second world war and then the way in which this ran n parallel with the storyline of kendra and her family in todays world"
75.0%

such inspiration

"fiona s book filled me with such inspiration and joy"
75.0%

happy ending

"don't we all like a happy ending even if this one is a bit too tidy"
75.0%

very compelling

"a very compelling read"
75.0%

gripping tale

"the location of the island where ella finds love for the first time and is woven into all her story and the surrounding ocean linked to the title sea of memories made this story a gripping tale"
75.0%

perfect book

"this is the perfect book for a holiday or commuting as the chapters sections are quite short"
75.0%

good emotion

"a story that felt strangely familiar but kept twisting through the turns of life fantastic read really enjoyed it good emotion and factually very well set in history"
74.9%

were beautiful

"the descriptions of isle de rey were beautiful"
74.9%

good research

"a lovely story good research and brought characters alive"
74.9%

emotional investment

"read it and enjoy for both it's descriptive detail and the emotional investment in the characters involved"
74.9%

very engaged

"at first i thought it would be too romantic for me but then the story picked up pace and i was very engaged by it"
74.9%

felt wonderfully

"i love reading and i love art so it felt wonderfully relaxing to get lost in the beauty of this book whilst also acknowledging the fears of war and the desolation of losing loved ones"
74.9%

just enough information

"just enough information to keep you interested not too much that it confused or bored"
74.9%

emotional maturity

"i enjoyed fiona's first three books and had noticed that with each one her characters gained in depth and emotional maturity despite the relatively easy subject matter"
74.9%

good insights

"but this is a well structured novel full of colours and with real depth to the characters and some good insights into human nature"
74.8%

love relationships

"i really enjoyed this tale of love relationships and the difficulties that life can sometimes bring"
74.8%

emotional tribute

"a throughl a great read heartfelt warming an emotional tribute to prove that even in the darkest of times there is still a loving light that can burn bright"
74.7%

lovely ending

"i enjoyed this book and found it both gripping and emotional with a lovely ending telling the story from her great first love to her second love with all the struggles but finding peace and finally giving happiness and security to her granddaughter"
74.7%

lovely journey

"it was a very moving read and took me on a lovely journey with her story and my own life memories colliding beautifully"
74.7%

with confidence

"a strong well written story told with confidence"
74.7%

lovely story

"a lovely story of ella's life told to her granddaughter kendra"
74.7%

very uplifting

"it is also very uplifting i would highly recommend reading this fantastic book and can’t wait to read the next fiona valpy book!"
74.7%

real feeling

"the characters were written with real feeling and i felt i knew them all"
74.7%

more tranquil

"the descriptions of this magical land part sea part island are beautifully crafted and evoke a way of life more tranquil than city life"
74.7%

heartfelt emotions

"i rarely write reviews but had to for this beautiful story telling heartfelt emotions of smiles and tears"
74.7%

unadulterated enjoyment

"what a great story pure unadulterated enjoyment"
74.6%

refreshing ideas

"i like this writer and enjoy her refreshing ideas"
74.6%

provide life

"pausing to think what is important in life collecting the broken fragments of a crisis and sticking them all together again to provide life with a new beauty "
74.6%

human nature

"but this is a well structured novel full of colours and with real depth to the characters and some good insights into human nature"
74.6%

carefully constructed

"the book was carefully constructed and paced without losing its heart"
74.6%

relatively easy

"i enjoyed fiona's first three books and had noticed that with each one her characters gained in depth and emotional maturity despite the relatively easy subject matter"
74.6%

grand daughter

"part of ella's story told to her grand daughter as ends her days must be so like many others stories of her generation who went through the hardship and trauma of war but with an extra touch of suspense"
74.6%

lovely twists

"loved this story the way it used three generations and lovely twists"
74.6%

fantastic story

"what a fantastic story"
74.6%

care homes

"often older people in care homes are dismissed as just poor old people unable to look after themselves but take a closer look and many have have life stories which are amazing"
74.6%

beautiful thought

"sea of memories is a beautiful thought provoking story that i thoroughly enjoyed reading"
74.6%

poignant moments

"there are so many poignant moments in this book that could act as a real life guide now i may very well read it again"
74.6%

beautiful descriptions

"of course this is not world literature but this book was really good company to me especially the beautiful descriptions of their many holidays by the french seaside"
74.6%

riveting reading

"this added an extra dimension and made riveting reading"
74.5%

loving light

"a throughl a great read heartfelt warming an emotional tribute to prove that even in the darkest of times there is still a loving light that can burn bright"
74.5%

beautiful island

"a wonderful story of a love that spanned time and of a beautiful island that i think everyone of us would secretly like to live"
74.5%

lovely part

"lovely part of france"
74.5%

really recommend

"really recommend"
74.5%

liked both

"i loved every minute of this book and would recommend anyone who likes a good love story beautifully written todo as well this is the second book i have read of the author and i liked both for different reasons"
74.5%

gloriously descriptive

"she transports you to another world which she describes with gloriously descriptive language"
74.4%

emotions convincingly

"storyline reflects emotions convincingly and would recommend this as a good meaningful read with depth and not in the least shallow"
74.4%

best of stories

"this is a wonderful story of love and despair but love conquers all as in the best of stories despite the tragedies"
74.4%

very easily

"very interesting believable and captivating story really enjoyed reading it created great scenes and could imagine the locations very easily"
74.4%

immensely hard

"i many times was transported to the island and found it immensely hard to put down"
74.3%

relationships choices

"really enjoyed the story line exploring love relationships choices and how we often can make decisions that affect family relationships and dynamics without full understanding"
74.3%

asks her granddaughter

"a great holiday read following the life of ella as she asks her granddaughter to write her life story"
74.3%

very moving

"i found this book a very moving story i was surprised that even with the swapping from the years ie:1935to 2017 all through the book it was still easy to follow"
74.3%

better person

"made me feel how precious life is and always be "the better person" loved it"
74.3%

expertly written

"ella is a wonderful character expertly written and the book is very descriptive i felt i was in her shoes"
74.3%

convincing story

"rarely does a book make me cry and this one did a sure sign to me of a convincing story"
74.3%

lovely memories

"i really enjoyed the descriptions on isle de re having been there in holiday it was great reliving lovely memories"
74.3%

helped the granddaughter

"i enjoyed the book it was a good storyline and brought a family together and helped the granddaughter with her difficulties with her autistic son"
74.3%

loved ones

"it prompted so many thoughts and reactions to notice love and be close to your loved ones to appreciate the beauty that is around us especially the sea and the wind in your face when you sail"
74.3%

pleasantly surprised

"i have not found a book as well written for a while so was pleasantly surprised!"
74.3%
...

Compare Emotion analysis

The Wolf Hall Trilogy, Book 1

Positive tone

Neutral tone

Negative tone

34.2% 25.8% 40.0%
  neutral 25.5%
  worry 22.2%
  happiness 19.5%
  sadness 14.5%
  fun 5.3%
  relief 4.1%
  joy 2.2%
  anger 1.7%
  love 1.7%
  fear 1.2%
  enthusiasm 1.2%
  hate 0.5%
  empty 0.2%
  surprise 0.2%
Sea of Memories

Positive tone

Neutral tone

Negative tone

42.8% 18.7% 38.5%
  worry 20.9%
  happiness 19.4%
  neutral 18.7%
  sadness 15.6%
  fun 9.4%
  love 8.0%
  relief 3.8%
  joy 1.3%
  fear 1.1%
  surprise 0.9%
  anger 0.7%
  hate 0.2%

* analysis performed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods, data for the analysis has been gathered from multiple publicly accessible sources.
** strength is the level of sentiment expressed in a sentence, phrase or keyword. It ranges from 0 to 100%
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last analysis update 2021-06-15