“Wolf Hall”, by Hilary Mantel – Review

The book is a historical fiction told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell during the realm of Henry VIII. The timeframe covered in this volume 1 of 3, spans latter days of Cardinal Wolsey through the execution of Thomas More.

I very much enjoyed the book and would have given it 5 stars but for the extremely distracting dialogue attribution style of the author. As one example, she constantly uses “he” to indicate Cromwell, but also uses it for characters in proximity even when confusing. Now there might be some arcane literary purpose in all of this but, for the rest of us mere mortals, it makes the book almost inaccessible. I found myself stopping, reversing tracks and parsing out who is actually speaking over and over again. I persevered because I enjoyed the story in spite of the annoyance. It took me more than twice as long to read this book than it should have.

Takeaway, I would recommend because the story is otherwise well-conceived and enjoyable. Just be forewarned reader frustration is part of the mix.