A tremendously vivid, plausible novel that depicts the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, the most spirited, independent and courageous of Henry VIII's Queens, as viewed from both the bedrooms and the kitchens of the Tudor court.
Everyone knows the story of Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII divorced his longstanding, long-suffering, older, Spanish wife for a young, black-eyed English beauty, and in doing so severed England from the Church in Rome and, indeed, from the rest of the western world. Then, when Henry had what he wanted, he managed a mere three years of marriage before beheading his wife for alleged adultery with several men, amongst them his own best friend and her own brother.
This is the context for Suzannah Dunn's wonderful new novel, which is about - and told by - two women: Anne Boleyn, King's mistress and fated Queen; and Lucy Cornwallis, the King's confectioner, an employee of the very highest status, who made the centrepiece of each of the feasts to mark the important occasions in Anne's ascent.
There's another link between them, though: the lovely Mark Smeaton, wunderkind musician, the innocent on whom, ultimately, Anne's downfall hinged . . .