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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-06-19 14:08
The Mirror and the Light (Thomas Cromwell #3) - Hilary Mantel
The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel


POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW (Spoilers for Little Women, not The Mirror and the Light. I know that sounds weird. Just go with it.)







There's an episode of Friends where Rachel finds a copy of The Shinning in Joey's freezer. The discussion that follows leads to Joey reading Rachel's favorite book Little Women. Eventually there's an incident that ends with Rachel spoils the book for Joey by telling him Beth dies. A shocked Joey exclaims "Is that true?!? If I keep reading will Beth die?!?" His friends assure him this isn't actually true. Later we find a distressed Joey. "Beth is really sick. Jo is there but I don't think it's going to matter." 


The Mirror and the Light was my Little Women. For the last 150 pages, I was Joey. "If I keep reading, will Cromwell die?!?" Just because I knew it was coming, doesn't mean I was ready for it. Now I'm not entirely sure what I should do with my life.



---I had so many more thoughts on this book. However, BL decided to eat my review three times and I don't have the patience to deal with it right now.-----



Dates read 4/14/2020-6/18/2020

Book 40/75

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text 2020-05-20 04:41
Reading progress update: I've read 467 out of 757 pages.
The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel

We played hooky today. The only time I spent with a device today was right away this morning when I lied to the girls' teachers and told them that of course we were going to be working today. It's been cold and raining for the last four-ish days. Today was sunny and 70. We're all out of the office today. Sorry. Not sorry. When you go to the lake on a Tuesday, you get the beach to yourself. It was glorious.


Now that everyone has scrubbed of the sand and I have applied half a bottle of aloe gel to the places I apparently forgot to apply sunscreen, I'm going to curl up with some tea and contine on with Lord Cromwell. However, it feels like Bring Up the Bodies would be a more fitting book today. 


"I filled his treasury, made his coinage sound; I packed off his old wife and got him a new one of his choosing; while I did this I soothed his temper and told him jokes. If like a princess in a fairy tale I could have spun a babe from straw, I would have worked a year of nights. But he has his prince now. He has paid a price for him, but good fortune never comes free. It is time he knew that; it is time he grew up."


I've said it before and I'll say it again - I think Mantel paints the most complex and human portrait of Henry VIII of any author, EVER. 



"Henry's eyes are on his portrait of himself, massive, on t he wall of the chamber. His own eyes consult the image of his master 'What should I want with the Emperor, were he emperor of all the world? Your Majesty is the only prince. The mirror and the light of other kings.'


Henry repeats the phrase, as if cherishing it: the mirror and the light. He says, 'You know, Crumb, I may from time to time reprove you. I may belittle you. I may even speak roughly.'


He bows.


'It is for show,' Henry says. 'So they think we are divided. But take it in good part. Whatever you hear, at home or abroad, I repose my faith in you.' 


Anyone else feel like Cromwell should know better than to believe Henry. 

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text 2020-05-13 04:23
Reading progress update: I've read 434 out of 757 pages.
The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel

"What is a woman's life? Do not think, because she is not a man, she does not fight. The bedchamber is her tilting ground, where she shows her colours, and her theatre of war is the sealed room where she gives birth.


She knows she may not come alive out of that bloody chamber. Before her lying-in, if she is prudent, she settles her affairs. If she dies, she will be lamented and forgotten. If the child dies, she will be blamed. If she lives, she must hide her wounds. Her injuries are secret, and her sisters talk about them behind the hand. It is Eve's sin, the long continuing punishment it incurred, that tears at her from the inside and shreds her. Whereas we bless and old soldier and give him alms, pitying his blind or limbless state, we do not make heroes of women mangled in the struggle to give birth. If she seems so injured that she can have no more children, we commiserate with her husband."



No pressure on your uterus Jane. I mean, everyone knows Henry's not the problem. 

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text 2020-05-09 17:11
Reading progress update: I've read 358 out of 757 pages.
The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel

"People are always prompting you, you notice, to forgive and forget. They are always urging you, do as your father did, boy: be what your father was. Young men claim they want change, they want freedom, but the truth is, freedom just confuses them and change makes them quake. Set them on the open road with a purse and a fair wind, and before they've gone a mile they are crying for a master: they must be indentured, they must be in bond, they must have someone to obey."


I'm strangely excited by an author who manages to use a colon correctly. It's a skill I have yet to master and Mantel doesn't just do it once. Twice. In the same paragraph. 

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text 2020-04-15 05:15
Reading progress update: I've read 13 out of 757 pages.
The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel

I needed this.


Now I just need someone to handle the girls' schooling tomorrow so I can fully commit myself to Ms. Mantle.

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