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Anne Boleyn was second of Henry VIII's eight wives and the mother of one of
England's greatest monarchs, Queen Elizabeth I. Anne and Henry's
relationship and subsequent marriage resulted in the formation of a new
church in England, as well as the deaths of many British subjects who held
fast to the Catholic faith. But what is remembered most about this union was
how Henry dissolved it. He had Anne beheaded.
Threads is not your run-of-the-mill historical novel. In the first chapter,
we meet an already executed Anne, busy piecing together the story of her
life in order to understand why Henry did what he did. We also learn early
on that Anne and Henry had shared many previous lives, along with other
people that they knew -- daughter, even Anne's first love. Nell Gavin's imagination shines
through as the author assigns different roles in their previous lives -- mother as her daughter, Henry as a gay cross-dressing prostitute in 2437
B.C. Egypt, Anne as the wife of a seventh son in 1666 China who forces her
to kill her first child because it is a girl.
As Anne reviews her previous lives, she realizes that from each one, lessons
are learned. Because she had free will, she had the ability to choose
between right and wrong, and her choices determined whether she would be
punished or rewarded in the next life. But if there is a "message" within
the novel and this is it, the reader can only wonder what wrong choice,
outside of committing murder, could one make that would result in his or her
next lives ending in murder? Or can bad karma, accumulated over a lifetime,
result in one horrific moment in the next?
Author Nell Gavin's research is meticulous, down to providing readers a
look at Anne's final speech on May 19, 1536, at the Tower of London, which
clearly shows Anne was not real sure why Henry was having her executed:
Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, according to law,
and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I come here only to die, and
thus to yield myself humbly to the will of the King, my lord. And if, in
life, I did ever offend the King's Grace, surely with my death, I do now
atone.I pray and beseech you all, good friends, to pray for the life of the
King, my sovereign lord and yours, who is one of the best princes on the
face of the earth, who has always treated me so well.
Poor Anne. It's good to know that at least in fiction, she could
look back on her various lives and see that Henry was not the great man she
thought him to be.
© 2002 by April Galt for Curled Up With a Good Book