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The Vicar's Wife

Title:  The Vicar’s Wife
Author:  Katharine Swartz
Pages:  334
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Lion Hudson
Jane Hatton was born and bred in the big city and loves her life there.  She has an all-consuming job that she loves, however, that doesn’t leave much time for her husband and three children.  Her husband is British and proposes a move to Britain.  Jane feels it is her turn to sacrifice, but once she moves she realizes she might have sacrificed too much.  She discovers an old grocery list that prompts her to think of who wrote it and what their life might have been like living in the old vicarage house.  Jane hates everything about her new life situation.  She discovers the author of the note, and readers via flashback get to see how the life of Alice James circa 1931-1943 came to pass.  The chapters take turns between Jane’s story in the present and Alice’s story from the past.
There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t like.  I liked the look into the past as well as the description of the countryside of Cumbria.  The chapters were easy to read and it didn’t take long at all to finish the book.  I didn’t like how self-absorbed Jane Hatton was with everything centered on how she felt, how unhappy she was and how difficult her new life was.  I thought that most of the description of Alice’s life was depressing.  Both women seemed so lost, but neither turned to the Lord for help and hope.  No one in their lives guided them to Him.  I would have thought Alice’s husband, David James, as a vicar would have given her some spiritual guidance.  I also thought Vicar James was very selfish.  He married a young bride, moved her to the middle of nowhere and then happily went about his job, leaving Alice alone for hours.  She had no one to talk to, no friends, no skills, no job…nothing and he didn’t help her adjust at all.
This is not much in the way of Christian fiction in my point of view.  There was very little mentioned about God or faith in this story.  This seems to be yet another book marketed by a supposed Christian publisher targeted at a Christian audience, but is mainly a mainstream fictional offering.  If you’re looking for any spiritual aspects in this book, there aren’t any.  I didn’t care for this book and wouldn’t recommend it.
My rating is 2 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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