Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Vicar's Wife By Katharine Swartz

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

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 Thoughts:

The Vicar's Wife is the first book by Katharine Swartz I have had the pleasure of reading. This book takes place in two different times, the present and the past.  Jane Hatton lives in the present, moved from New York to The Cumbrian coast into an old vicarage. As Jane cleans out her home she finds a scrap of paper with a grocery list on it from the past. She investigates and finds out it was written by Alice James, a Vicar's wife from the 1930's.  As Jane investigates even further by talking with some that knew Alice, Jane finds out they were not too different and are experienced so much of the same feelings and troubles. 

As I stated, this is the first book by Katharine Swartz that I have had the pleasure of reading. I love finding new to me authors, especially ones that I want to read more from.  The Vicar's Wife is told from both Jane and Alice's perspectives which I loved. It truly was like two book in one. Katharine Swartz writes with authority about England, New York, vicars,their lives,their studies, and the 1930's.  I could not put this book down once I started it. As I read, I felt like I was there watching the events from both time frames unfold. I loved all the characters especially the main characters, Jane and Alice. Both of these women lived real lives with real struggles and tried to do what they could for their husbands. This story shows these  two women coming to recognize who they are, how to adapt to difficulty and change, and what is important in their lives. I really enjoyed the style of Katharine Swartz's writing and how she put this story together. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction with an English setting. You will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more books by Katharine Swartz. I give this book 4 STARS.

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