Bring Up the Bodies
Henry VIII's Tudor England is a familiar place--but in the hands of Hilary Mantel, it becomes territory both new and unsettling. In Bring Up the Bodies, the sequel to Wolf Hall (both of which won the Booker Prize), Mantel weaves a richly textured world that is at once deeply foreign and entirely relevant, coalescing around the single thing that over centuries remains unchanged: the driving passions of people, even those who are kings. Through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, a man of formidable intellect, the psychological and political complexities of the court are unraveled.
Erotic desire and violent death are a constant, powerful undercurrent. In Wolf Hall, the king was driven by his desire for Anne Boleyn to upend the churches of England; in Bring Up the Bodies, the whispers at court subtly insinuate sexual possibilities as everyone is preoccupied with Anne's body: watching for signs of pregnancy, listening for signs of adultery. In such a world, truth becomes inextricably entangled with imagination, and Cromwell fashions a reality in which Anne's adultery is suddenly plausible.
Mantel turns the downfall of Anne Boleyn into a chilling suspense story as Cromwell orchestrates events that lead to Anne's death; otherwise, chances are good that she will do the same to him. --Ilana Teitelbaum, book reviewer at the Huffington Post