Jane Hatton and her British husband Andrew relocate from New York City to a small village on the Cumbrian coast. Jane has been city-based and career-driven but when her fourteen year old daughter Natalie falls in with the wrong crowd at school in Manhattan, she and Andrew decide to try country living. However Jane has trouble getting used to the silence and solitude of a remote village. 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? The Hattons have bought the old vicarage in the village. When Jane finds a scrap of shopping list, she grows curious about Alice, the vicar’s wife who lived there years before. As we follow the twin narratives 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.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 336 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: October 18th 2013 by Lion Fiction
The Vicar's Wife was one of those books that came around just when I needed a bit of Historical Fiction in my life. I love books set in the U.K. and I love when there ends up being two different stories rolled up into one. However that makes reviewing The Vicar's Wife a little harder because of the two stories being interconnected I'm only going to review the book without getting into any plot points so as to not ruin the book for any one else.
The characters in the story were interesting. There was quite a bit of angsty feelings going around for all those involved and they were realistic folks all of them except I wish there were more light moments with them. For me historical fiction can still be serious even if there's a wee bit of humour mixed in to give the characters a little more depth and realism and I just didn't get true depth of emotion from some of them during certain key points in the story where it was needed. That being said, they were alright but I wish there was a little more substance to them in the long run and because of that I didn't get attached to any one character.
The story was an interesting one. I enjoyed that the book was told through the points of view of two characters Jane (present day) and Alice the Vicar's wife from the 1930's. Though I have to admit that historical fiction set after 1900 isn't usually my cup of tea, I found this one to be a good one. The story of these two women was well thought out and I really got lost in the story for the hours I spent reading it. Unfortunately there were some points in the story that, just like the characters could have done with a wee bit more tweeking and rounded out a bit more.
Overall, I thought that it was an enjoyable read. It kept my attention and while I did have a couple issues with the story and characters I enjoyed the author's writing style because you could tell she had a passion for getting the story told it was just there in the writing plain to see and I look forward to reading her other novels in the near future.
I would recommend this one to fans of historical fiction set in the 1930's and 40's as well as stories told through dual point of view in two different time periods especially if they love books set in the U.K.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
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