Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Series: The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite Bk1
Release Date: 18th October 2017
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genres: Women's Fiction / Romancea Rafflecopter giveaway
Welcome to Thornthwaite, 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, chaotic bustle of the busy vicarage.
When she finished school Anna left for Manchester and tried to avoid coming back home and the well-meaning nosiness being a Holley sister in a small village like Thornthwaite meant… but when her father says he has an important announcement to make, she’s drawn back home for the happy chaos of a vicarage Christmas.
Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, Anna 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?
A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt is one of those books that I just flew through. Its addictive reading at its best and being fairly short, sated my thirst for a good Christmas novella. A piece of brilliant writing that had me enthralled right from the beginning. This book has so much more substance than a lot of Christmas novellas and explores difficult issues.
Anna has come home back to Thornthwaite after a considerable period of time spent living in Manchester. She's avoided coming home to the place where she is expected to be chatty, sociable and more like her sisters. Her father is the vicar after all and as Anna feared, the vicarage is full of people. However, Anna has a problem that she tries her best to hide. She suffers from extreme social anxiety around people she knows. People who will expect her to converse with them. At least in Manchester she has largely remained anonymous, keeping herself to herself mostly. However, a Christmas visit home to hear her father's big important announcement is almost more than Anna can bear. Meeting handsome stranger Simon allows Anna to open up about her difficulties and about her grief that is eating away at her. However, Anna is stunned to discover who Simon really is and again those feelings of helplessness come crashing down around her once more.
Having worked with lots of people suffering from social anxiety, I'd say Kate Hewitt has perfectly captured those feelings through her portrayal of Anna. She is a complicated character with many facets and despite being sure that she has kept her difficulties hidden well, there are those among her family who are quick to spot she is floundering on occasion. With Simon having the fuller picture about Anna and how she feels, he desperately wants to help. If only she'll let him. Simon has his own demons to fight and Anna doesn't realise it but they can help one another.
A Vicarage Christmas is a beautifully written, moving, thought provoking romance about the complexities of families, the impact of grief and the silence that sometimes follows. Its about the healing that love brings. A highly recommended read from me.
First Prize: Amazon gift card
Second Prize: Copy of A Cotswold Christmas (ecopy)
ABOUT KATE HEWITT
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 60 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling an emotionally compelling story. An American ex-pat, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269244.Kate_Hewitt