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The Mirror & the Light (2021, Picador) 5 stars

With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy …

Is there a word for that grief you feel when you've finished reading an amazing book?

5 stars

(my first book review here) I've just recently finished this magnificent book, with is the 3rd in the recently deceased Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy, which began with Wolf Hall. It is historical fiction, and reading the series has led me to reading more about Henry VIII's period; while I read a lot about Shakespeare's period when I was in school, I had never read much about the history just a few decades before that. As with the first two books, the writer's/main character's voice is perfect throughout, letting us see his world and his own complex character. Like Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, this is a remarkably feminist book for one that keeps women largely to the periphery--we see how hard women's lives are more by inference than by direct statement, because even though Cromwell is a brilliant man, he is still blinkered by his culture. I …