Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wolf Hall Read-a-Long Week 1: Check in (Part 1)

This is the first read-a-long I am participating in and I am quite excited about it. It's being hosted by The True Book Addict and Fiction State of Mind. For week one, we read Part 1, which included an in-depth cast of characters and two family trees and Kai at Fiction State is hosting the discussion - click here to see this week's discussion.  

***There may be some spoilers included in the questions/answers.

1.  What prompted you to join this read-a-long?
I have been a fan of historical fiction for a while now, especially with anything having to do with the Tudors. I started hearing a lot about this book when the sequel, Bring Down the Bodies was released this past spring.  I bought a copy of Wolf Hall and it was just sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. When I saw a post about the read-a-long, I decided to jump on it - it would definitely mean I would be reading the book sooner than later!

2.  What do you think of Thomas so far?
There isn't much to say about Thomas so far. He ran away from home because of an abusive father and now years later, he is married and has a family. He seems pretty resourceful and ends up being a close friend of cardinal Wolsey. He seems to be able to read people and situations to his benefit and I think this is one characteristic that he uses later in life to his advantage.
3.  What do you think about Thomas's feelings towards his son Gregory? Do you think he is too indulgent ? Do you think his treatment of Gregory now will effect Gregory's future?
I think Thomas is very carefully trying to be not like his father in parenting Gregory.  As he says in the book right after Gregory was born "I shall be as tender to you as my father was not to me" (pg. 40). Perhaps he is a bit indulgent, but right now it's hard to tell what impact this will have on Gregory's future.
So far, I am really enjoying this book. Hilary Mantel has an interesting writing style and the narrators tend to switch quickly, so it's a slow-reading book. I am looking forward to seeing everyone else's thoughts on this book. 
Have you read Wolf Hall? Have you ever participated in a read-a-long?


  1. Actually I thought the first pages highlighting Thomas's relationship to his dad were very important: how he started from very low, and submitted to a lot of violence. How from nothing he will work hard to reach one of the highest civil posts in the England of the time.
    And also could the treatment he received from his Dad shed some light on he himself later in life will use violence?
    I LOVED Wolf Hall. here is my review:
    I have participated in a few read-alongs this year, for instance The Secret Garden.
    I am in another one this month, on The End of The Affair, and will have another one next month: Bel Canto - see in the right margin of my blog.
    I plan to organize several myself next year, to have readers join books I must absolutely read.

  2. I'm glad that you are joining us for the read-a-long! It sounds like you're really enjoying it. It is a great book. I agree with wordsandpeace above, I was really impressed with how he started out so low and strove to overcome his beginnings and made himself a success.

    I'll see you at my blog this week. It's my week to post the next check-in. Happy reading!


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