December 10

She’s Come Undone

Posted by lori . 8 Comments

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This is the story of Dolores Price who faces almost every terrible issue and situation that a girl/woman can face.  She doesn’t weather the storms unscathed; rather she is molded and greatly affected by them, but her bleak sense of humor keeps you hopeful that she makes it through.  This is a story of survival.  Dolores will touch your heart because she represents a reality that is all around us.

I’m participating in a readalong challenge hosted by Nicole (Linus’s Blanket) and Natalie (Coffee and a Book Chick).  The book we’re reading is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, the 2009 Man Booker Prize winner.  Wolf Hall is a fictionalized biography chronicling the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII, and is currently being adapted into a miniseries by HBO and BBC.  This week, we read Parts 3 & 4.

Part 3 covers the Winter of 1529, as Cardinal Wolsey is stripped of power and charged with forty-four violations of the king’s laws, to Christmastide of 1530.  Part 4 begins in 1531 and ends in November 1532.

I am thoroughly enjoying Wolf Hall.  The focus on the the life and rise of Thomas Cromwell and the present tense perspective, gives you a sense of who he was and how he played into the larger history.  By using conversations and private moments, you get a sense of what it must have been like to live during this period of tremendous change…the cultural upheaval of the Protestant Reformation, the mystery of Anne Boleyn’s sway over Henry VIII, and the whim of the court where one minute you’re a rising star and the next you’re imprisoned and facing death.

Wolf Hall assumes a knowledge of the period, but what I’m finding important is not the chronicling of historical people and events, but the emergence of new ideas.  This struggle between old and new is beautifully and artfully played out between Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More.

I’m looking forward to finishing this book and giving you my final thoughts next week.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 at 3:00 am and is filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to " She’s Come Undone"

  • Declan says:

    I might wait until the BBC air the mini series… I find turning the pages is sometimes a struggle… Deccy x

    P.S. I’ve nominated you for the Liebster blog award. There are a few rules, of course, you can check them out on my blog 🙂

  • Books are a mystery to me these days. I have trouble just keeping up with my Time magazines. That said, Wolf Hall sounds interesting. I followed the Henry 8th series on telly and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Congrats on your award! xox

  • houndstooth says:

    I read She’s Come Undone when it became an Oprah book club book, and I hated it! It just kept getting more and more depressing, and she just never seemed to make good things happen for herself. It was one of the books that helped to convince me that Oprah books are not for me. It’s unusual for me to read a book and totally hate it, but that one was on the short list for me!

    You make me really curious to get Wolf Hall! It sounds fascinating!

    • lori says:

      I hope anyone who considers reading this book reads your comment, because I think after reading She’s Come Undone, you fall into one of two camps…love or hate. I am very “character” motivated when it comes to reading. If the characters touch me, I’m hopelessly in love, and that’s one of the reasons I’m a fan of She’s Come Undone. Dolores just touched me. I also could not believe that a man wrote her because there were certain instances when he hit an emotion that was so on target for me, it took my breath away. But with regards to “story,” I agree with you. This is not a pretty story…at all.

      I’m really enjoying Wolf Hall, but the pace is killing me. I can’t whine enough about how slowly I read.

  • Judy says:

    I read She’s Come Undone when it first came out and really liked it!

  • I’ve not read She’s Come Undone, but always meant to. Sometimes those sadder books are intriguing to read, you know? Which is sort of like Wolf Hall for me right now. I love everything about the book, but it is so depressing! It’s beautifully written and it’s an excellent opportunity for me to learn more and more about this time period and the Tudors as I’m not very familiar with it, other than a few things here and there that I’ve watched in films over the years. It’s certainly drawing me in to learn much more and research away! I love your point on the struggles between old and new and how that is clearly being compared between Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. Both have significantly interesting methods to pursue information and gather the knowledge they need, but Cromwell doesn’t have to throw one on the rack, or break bones to get the job done. Thomas More is one who sufficiently made my skin crawl as I read Parts 3 and 4 this week!

    Again, thanks so very much for joining the readalong! I can’t wait to see how these last two sections play out!

  • I’m glad you’re so thoroughly enjoying Wolf Hall! It has been slow going for me, but the writing is beautiful and it is slowly building in my mind…


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