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.
5 thoughts on “Book Review: A Vicarage Reunion.”
This sounds like something I would like to read, but maybe not right now. I think that it’s a good thing that we can read about miscarriage in books and I honestly think reading this would really help me to process some things I have still yet to deal with. But I will have to save it for a time when I am feeling a little braver and not quite so raw.
Thanks for this review Tara, I am going to add it to be goodreads list so I can read it when I am ready.
It sounds like a good book. Sometimes books that tackle difficult subjects are the best.
Totally agree, Tara. Women are very quick to feel miscarriage is something they and others should simply move on from and preferably not discuss. I actually observed several women move away from.me when I spoke about mine…as if it might be catching.
I’m sorry for your loss. I’m also sorry to read that you didn’t have the support of several women, especially as it’s when you need your friends the most. I do wonder, if you haven’t experienced it, whether you can really understand what it’s like. Books like this help, I think.
Hi Tara, it’s a shame miscarriage is such a taboos subject. The easier it is to talk about the easier the subject is to broach when it does happen. My sister and her husband miscarried the day after they took both sets of parents out to share the news. I wasn’t there, but when weeks later my parents told me with tears in their eyes I knew just how much it affected everyone… This book sounds like a gritty read and one that gives a glimpse into what the reality of losing a baby must be like.