The Vicar’s Wife by Katherine Swartz

91jk4h0I6wL._SL1500_Andrew and Jane Hatton have moved to England from New York City and he is delighted to be back home in his native England but his wife Jane is very unhappy and feels that it will never be home for her and their three children.

The Vicar’s Wife
by Katherine Swartz
Kregel Publications
October 2013

The Vicar’s Wife by Katherine Swartz was an enjoyable book even though at the beginning it was somewhat depressing, at least to me. Jane and Andrew Hatton have moved to England from New York City and are living in the old vicarage in the village of Goswell. Andrew is delighted to be back home in England but Jane is very unhappy and feels that neither the house nor England will ever feel like home to her and their three children, Natalie, Ben, and Merrie. Jane found a piece of a shopping list that had belonged to Alice James the wife of the vicar during the 1930’s. Jane can’t seem to forget the woman and goes all out searching for information about Alice. She and Alice are very much alike in that both are not sure about living in the vicarage and also seem to be searching to find out who they really are and to overcome their fears and learn what is really important in life.

The author did an excellent job in the development of the characters. In fact her portrayal of Jane was so well done and seemed so real that I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shaking. Alice also came alive on the pages of the book and I wanted to give her a hug for she was trying so hard and it seemed that almost everyone was against her. There were a few twists in the plot and it was interesting to read how each one turned out. There were also a few surprises near the end of the story. The dialogue of the characters was well written, in fact so well written that at times I found myself talking to them, at least in my head. Natalie, Ben, and Merrie were completely real in the story again showing the skill of the author in developing the character of each one. I really liked the way that the narrative changed between Jane and Alice with each chapter. Even though I found the beginning of the book somewhat depressing, by the end of the story I found that I actually liked Jane for she finally realized what she wanted in life and began to work for it.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy English authors and stories set in the English countryside.

Deanna Love Gottreu is a 75 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.