Hey Guys, thanks for stopping by for Kate Hewitt’s blog tour for A Vicarage Christmas, you can catch my review below along with a guest post from Kate. There is also a fab giveaway that you won’t want to miss at the end of the post.
Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…
Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage.
After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas… and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna’s social capabilities to the test.
Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!
Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?
The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite
A Vicarage Christmas is the start of a new series set in the Lake District, about four daughters of a vicar. As the wife of a (former) vicar with four daughters, and having lived in the Lake District, you might wonder if this is the case of art imitating life—and I suppose, to a small degree, it is.
The four Holley sisters are VERY loosely based on my four daughters, but really I think their characters come from their birth order, which is something that fascinates me. The oldest, Esther, is bossy and independent; the second oldest, Rachel, is the social butterfly and people pleaser. Anna, third oldest (or second youngest!) is the shy and quiet one, with hidden anxieties, and Miriam, the youngest, is the wild child baby of the family.
Of course, no person, real or fictional, is simply a product of their birth order, and all the sisters’ journeys involves them breaking out of their moulds, so to speak, and learning to embrace their full selves. It’s been fun to write about four sisters, as I observe my four daughters, currently ages 4, 9, 16, and 19, interacting. A Vicarage Christmas is Anna’s story, and the second book, A Vicarage Reunion, will be Esther’s.
What are your feelings about birth order affecting personality? Any truth to it, do you think?
Anna Holley has avoided going home for years, going home reminds her of a tragedy that happened and brings out an awful anxiety. Her Father is the local vicar and being surrounded by pretty much the whole village is her worst nightmare. When she escapes to catch a breath and goes to the pub for a drink she meets Simon, a man she feels an instant pull towards and ends up spilling all her secrets to.
The next day she finds out Simon is her Father’s new curate and has to face the fact that he now knows everything about her, but Simon doesn’t want to back down and let Anna become a mouse again, he wants her to fly and face her secrets head on.
I loved Anna, I could relate to her anxieties and need to hide especially in social situations. Simon was such a wonderful character. His history made him wary but he also saw Anna for who she was at her heart, not who she portrayed to the world.
This is a short novella but a lot happens between the pages and the characters are beautifully portrayed, as always, by Kate Hewitt. This is a wonderful feel-good novel and will be a perfect Christmas Day read.
Sending huge thanks to Kate Hewitt, Tule Publishing, and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.
About Kate Hewitt
Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 60 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. She also writes for Harlequin Presents.
She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.
Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.katehewitt.blogspot.co.uk.
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Book & Buy Links
Title: A Vicarage Christmas
Series: The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite #1
Author: Kate Hewitt
Genre: Chick-Lit | Women’s Fiction | Christmas | Romance
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: 12 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US