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A Vicious Cycle and ... A Great Book

Okay, it's 12:26am and I'm up! I went to bed...well, lights out at 9:00pm and in the 3.5 hours since then this has been the pattern; I am jolted from a golden sleep when Luke (2) cries for about a minute, I drift off to sleep, I am jolted awake by Ben snoring, I drift off to sleep, I am jolted awake by Mali(the dog) chewing on something I drift off to sleep and the cycle begins all over again,. Luke cries, sleep, Ben snores, sleep, Mali chewing, sleep and again, repeat, again. So I gently wake up Ben and.... HE ISIN'T WEARING A SNORE STRIP! I am so upset, and tired, I could cry! He hastily puts on a snore strip and within minutes he is sound asleep again. I lay next to him wide awake wondering why he couldn't remember something so important. Then I notice him.....SNORING. He had put the snore strip on so quickly that he must have misplaced it on his nose because it is not working! Mali is chewing on what sounds like my antique vanity's leg. So I am up and wide awake. Mali is in her kennel. Ben is snoring a semi-familiar tune and guess what I don't hear a peep from little Luke.

Now onto a real topic: I read a fantastic historical fiction book. I could not put it down. I read it in less than a week and suffered a weird depression when I finished the book. (mildly exaggerating) Usually I gravitate towards non-fiction or fantasy and I was hesitant when my Mother-In-Law suggested this book. But from page 1 I was hooked.

The Other Boylen Girl by Philippa Gregory
Sisterly rivalry is the basis of this fresh, wonderfully vivid retelling of the story of Anne Boleyn. Anne, her sister Mary and their brother George are all brought to the king's court at a young age, as players in their uncle's plans to advance the family's fortunes. Mary, the sweet, blond sister, wins King Henry VIII's favor when she is barely 14 and already married to one of his courtiers. Their affair lasts several years, and she gives Henry a daughter and a son. But her dark, clever, scheming sister, Anne, insinuates herself into Henry's graces, styling herself as his adviser and confidant. Soon she displaces Mary as his lover and begins her machinations to rid him of his wife, Katherine of Aragon. This is only the beginning of the intrigue that Gregory so handily chronicles, capturing beautifully the mingled hate and nearly incestuous love Anne, Mary and George ("kin and enemies all at once") feel for each other and the toll their family's ambition takes on them. Mary, the story's narrator, is the most sympathetic of the siblings, but even she is twisted by the demands of power and status; charming George, an able plotter, finally brings disaster on his own head by falling in love with a male courtier. Anne, most tormented of all, is ruthless in her drive to become queen, and then to give Henry a male heir. Rather than settling for a picturesque rendering of court life, Gregory conveys its claustrophobic, all-consuming nature with consummate skill. In the end, Anne's famous, tragic end is offset by Mary's happier fate, but the self-defeating folly of the quest for power lingers longest in the reader's mind.

I am reading Charles Dickens Great Expectations for the second time right now. Not so much a mind grabber as The Other Boylen Girl.

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