The Other Boleyn Girl is a alternate history novel written by British author Philippa Gregory, loosely based on the life of 16th-century aristocrat Mary Boleyn, the sister of Anne Boleyn, of whom little is known. Inspired by the life of Mary, Gregory depicts the annulment of one of the most significant royal marriages in English history and conveys the urgency of the need for a male heir to the throne. Much of the history is highly distorted in her account.Reviews were mixed; some said it was a brilliantly claustrophobic look at palace life in Tudor England, while others are troubled by the lack of historical accuracy. It has enjoyed phenomenal success and popularity since its publication.The novel was followed by a sequel called The Queen's Fool, set during the reign of Henry's daughter, Queen Mary. The Queen's Fool was followed by The Virgin's Lover, set during the early days of Queen Elizabeth's reign.PlotDuring the 16th century, two sisters who hail from a wealthy family join the court of king Henry VIII. Soon rivalry, scandal and hunger for power results in one's downfall.CharactersMary Boleyn/Carey/Stafford: The main character of the story, told from her point of view. Mary is portrayed as an innocent, sexually naïve, young girl who, forced by her family, engages in an affair with Henry VIII under the influence of her sister Anne and her brother George. The novel begins when Mary is fourteen, and ends just days after Anne's execution.