It is unfortunately still something of a taboo so the fact that miscarriage plays such a big part in Kate Hewitt’s latest book, A Vicarage Reunion, feels like an important step to me.
Having experienced two early pregnancy losses, I was drawn to this novel – the second in this series – but what kept me reading was the fact it’s a brilliantly told story, with barely suppressed emotions, which I knew had to come out eventually.
Here’s the blurb:
Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters…
Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents.
Life as a singleton thirty something living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates. She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again.
New challenges face them as they start over–and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?
While it might be too raw to read if you’ve just experienced it, nearly seven years after my first loss I found the book comforting. Obviously everyone grieves differently but I could relate to the way not just Esther but also Will were dealing (or maybe not dealing) with what happened.
I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about Esther at first but the more I got to know her, the more I liked her – and in the end I desperately wanted her to have a happy ending.
The miscarriage was a catalyst for them splitting up but I also felt it helped them to understand each other better. They had settled into a rut after years of marriage, as can so easily happen, but this was their wake up call.
Despite the fact I haven’t read the first book (yet), I was able to easily understand the family dynamics at the vicarage and really enjoyed meeting the engaging cast of characters.
I thought the whole story was exceptionally well written and can’t wait to read more.
My rating: Five stars.
With thanks to Tule Publishing for the ARC (via NetGalley) in return for an honest review.