The Vicar's Wife
Swartz, Katharine. The Vicar's Wife. Oxford, UK: Lion Hudson, 2013.
The story set forth by author Katharine Swartz has a modern story and a back story. The back story involves a woman who became the vicar's wife in a small seaside village of England in the 1930s, continuing through World War II. The modern story involves a family, and specifically the woman of the family, which purchases the vicarage when the church moves the vicar into a more modern facility. The family includes a man (Andrew) who grew up nearby in England, but has spent the last 16 years of his life in New York City. His wife Jane was the manager of a non-profit in New York City and really has no desire to fit into the community in England. Her children embrace life in the village, although a few are initially hesitant. While she's trying to paint a pantry, she discovers an old shopping list belonging to the former vicar's wife and becomes intrigued by it. She wants to learn as much about the woman who wrote that list as possible. I liked the historic story more than the modern story, but primarily because I just didn't really like the character of Jane that much. I loved her husband and kids and even the other locals, but I never really identified with Jane, probably because I can't imagine even considering doing the horrible things she did to harm her family because of her own selfish desires. This review is based on an electronic galley received by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.