Friday, February 7, 2014

The Vicar's Wife

Katharine Swartz
Lion Fiction

A powerful drama of domestic life following two memorable women who shared a house eighty years apart.

A New Yorker all her life, Jane Hatton loved her job as the head of a charity championing women’s rights, but her fourteen-year-old daughter, Natalie, had fallen in with the wrong crowd at her Manhattan school. So Jane and her British husband, Andrew, have decided to move their family to the English countryside.

The Hattons have bought the large old vicarage in a small village on the Cumbrian coast, near Andrew’s new job. The silence and solitude of a remote village is quite a change. Natalie hates her new school, and eleven-year-old Ben struggles academically. Only seven-year-old Merrie enjoys country life. Has Jane made a horrible mistake? What of her career? Her own identity?

Putting on a brave face for the family, Jane tackles renovating the rambling, drafty old house. When she finds a scrap of a very old shopping list, she grows curious about Alice, the vicar’s wife who lived there years before.

As the twin narratives unfold—of Jane in the present and Alice in the 1930s—we discover that both are on a journey to discover their true selves, and to address their deepest fears.

My Review:

I am personally a huge fan of novels that tie the past and the present together. It lends a dramatic, yet romantic flair to the story that nothing else can quite achieve. What struck me about this story is the glimpse of a common problem that we sometimes cannot overcome. When faced with new circumstances or situations, we tend to long for our old life and wish we could go back. But when we finally begin to accept where life is taking us, it can be the biggest blessing of all. 

Blogging with Kregel Publication has exposed me to authors that I would not have met otherwise. This author was no different, and I really enjoyed her writing. I did think that Jane was a rather selfish character, but that in no way kept me from enjoying the story. Her relationship with her family got better as the book progressed - character development at it's finest! Overall it was a great story of discovering how to find what really matters in life, and doing whatever it takes to find your true happiness and joy. 

This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. 

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