Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review: The Vicar's Wife by Katharine Swartz

  • Kindle Edition
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction; 1st New edition edition (18 Oct 2013)
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction; 1st New edition edition (18 Oct 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782640707

The blurb (from Amazon)

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 eight-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.

This is a gentle tale of two women who lived in the same house decades apart.  

Present day - Jane has been displaced from her native New York city to a small English village with her husband and children.

1930's - Alice was displaced from the bustling university city of Cambridge and her father's guardianship into the same house as she prepares to become the Vicar's wife.

Jane finds a shopping list that was written by Alice in the 1930's and so begins a story of how these two women coped with their changing circumstances.

I enjoyed the storyline where parts of Alice's story were told in 1930's and other events were revealed by Jane and those around her in the present. Alice's story became more important to me than Jane's.

The Vicarage and village life is not quite what either woman was expecting, will they adapt to their new surroundings and be happy? 
I particularly enjoyed the historical  elements of the storyline and the local references to Cambridge.

4.5 out of 5 for me! I really enjoyed this one.

Netgalley copy. This did not influence my review in any way. 



  1. Hi Carol. This sounds like a really good book, and one that I would definitely want to read. Thank you.

  2. This one is also for me. I like the parallel story line idea very much.

  3. Hi ladies
    Yes this was a lovely parallel storyline and a lovely village setting.


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