Friday, February 7, 2014
The Vicar's Wife by Katharine Swartz *Review
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.
I have had a theme in books lately, with stories that have 2 time lines in them. I do enjoy reading a good book that brings wisdom from the past to teach the characters something.
I would be just like Jane, curious to find out more about Alice. I love the idea of living in an old vicarage, that drew me to the book. Old homes, old seasons all make for a great background in a book.
Alice worked alot of hours, and her children went to the best private schools. They lived in New York City and she enjoyed the hustle and bustle. The move to a slower paced life, back to Andrew's homeland of England made Alice feel lonely and out of place.
My curiosity about Alice kept me reading. I felt like I was right there with Jane trying to figure out who this woman was.
Jane really grew in character through the book. Watching her grow as a wife and mom was very encouraging.
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