Remember when I said how excited I was to review Six of One? I just loved the premise, a time-traveling chicklit about the six wives of Henry VIII, and I could not wait to read it, but then… it turns out that I didn’t actually like the novel all that much.
The protagonist, Dolly, a Tudor history scholar, is about to marry six-times-divorced Harry. She’s on her hen night with her girl friends, female relations and all of the ex-wives, when she whacks her head and finds herself meeting the girl friends, female relations and wives of Henry VIII. Each woman has to tell Dolly a story about her life, and at the conclusion of the stories, Dolly will be back her real world, to apply her new knowledge to her regular life.
Dolly, spent a lot of time saying she was an academic and a scholar, while making weirdly childish rhymes. It was odd, even before the time-traveling bit.
Each of the six wives revealed a pretty shocking secret, and each time it made her historical arc more sympathetic. (Except for poor Jane Seymour, who was constantly, and hilariously, ten minutes behind the rest of the conversation.) Unfortunately, the secrets didn’t really work out into one narrative, there were way too many secret liaisons, dark secrets and witchcraft. I did like Anne of Cleves’ secret romance with Holbein, though. Actually, I’d probably have been interested in any one of these alternate histories as a standalone story, perhaps with less rhyming overall, but all the stories together was over the top.
Overall, I was thoroughly shocked to find Tudor fiction that I did not enjoy! Although I was excited to read a fun Tudor riff, and I was on board with all the time-traveling and magic, this turned out too zany for me.