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Hi Danielle: enjoyed the excellent review. I read this one many years ago but sad to say, don't remember much about it at all (I read a lot of Mantel's novels in those days, all pretty quickly). I do remember liking it but, like you, being left a little unsatisfied. Still and all, anything by Mantel is worth reading. Thanks for the link to the Atwood review (another marvellous writer, even/especially in reviews, yes?). Between your review and Atwood's, I am really thinking this book deserves a re-read!


I've not read any of Mantel's work, either. This sounds like it was absorbing and left you with a lot of food for thought. A good start to the reading year, for sure.


It is disappointing when the story doesn’t go in the direction you were expecting. I’ve read one of her books before and did enjoy it but it’s been a while.


It’s disappointing when a story goes of in a different direction isn’t it? I’ve read one of her books before but it’s been a while.


Hi Danielle! I though I had posted a comment but since I don't see it, I must have been having one of those erratic "senior moments!" I read this novel so long ago I don't remember much about it, except that, like you, it left me a little dissatisfied at the end. Not enough to turn me off Mantel, who's one of my favorite authors, but enough to keep me from enjoying the story as much as I might otherwise have done. Quite honestly, a lot of Mantel's earlier novels are like that for me; I like them a lot, but Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies are the great ones. I know you like art history -- did you know Mantel did a short piece, published separately, on Holbein's painting of Sir Thomas More, in the Frick collection? I've been meaning to read it for some time now ...


This is my first of her work, though I think I did read one short story by her--and I started one of her other books but didn't stick with it--just a too many books at one time moment. I did like this, and I think I will like her later work even more! I have been thinking about it a lot since, so that tells you something, too, right?!


It's not really her fault--I mean it's a bit unfair of me to think she didn't write the story I wanted to read--lol. I only wish there had been a bit....more. But I think that is just the way she writes/storytells perhaps? I will read more of her work, though.


Sorry about that Iliana--I've been getting so much spam of late I decided to turn on comment moderation for a while.


Sorry Janakay--no, you are fine--I have been bombarded of late with spam comments and it was driving me a little nuts. I am doing comment moderation for a while and see if that helps stop the garbage coming in. I appreciate the comments! I think her later work is going to be better--more of what I am wishing for. I did like this book, but I think I just wanted something more at the end--how often does that happen, right?! I did not know she wrote about the Holbein painting--will have to look it up. I want to read Wolf Hall--maybe I will try and tackle it this year...


The only Mantel I gave read is the first half of Wolf Hall which I was very much enjoying when it had to go back to the library!
Sadly that was years ago and I still haven't resumed reading it despite having my own copy. I promise myself that I will start again ...very soon .....!


I really enjoyed the book even with the small criticism. She is a really good writer and I think there was more to the story than I was actually seeing. I think she is someone whose books improve with rereads actually! And Atwood's review was great--succinct yet just right.


I keep thinking about that one and I do want to read it, though it does sort of sound challenging to me. I think it is one that you just need to dive into and keep reading until it clicks. I have had a copy of Wolf Hall since it first came out in paper....


That's the best "criticism", I believe, that one is left wanting to know more. It's just what I would hope someone would say about my writing! Mantel always makes me think, but she's definitely not easy reading.


It's both good and bad, right. She leaves you wanting more! I am glad I was not the only one and consider myself in good company with Margaret Atwood! I tried Beyond Black when it first came out and everyone was talking about it, but I set it aside. I think I could tackle it now, however, and do want to read more of her work.

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