“Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too…” all the way to my first Christmas post!
A Vicarage Christmas (The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite #1) by Kate Hewitt tells the story of Anna Holley, the third sister of four, who has kept to herself since a family tragedy occurred many years before. For the first time in what her family considers forever, she is at home at the vicarage for Christmas, avoiding questions from her family and, well, the entire village. Anna already needs to escape her first night at home and finds herself pouring out her heart in the local pub to Simon, a stranger she presumes she will never see again.
This is a charming little story perfect for getting you in the Christmas spirit. Due to its centre point being a vicarage, it brings to light a number of religious Christmas traditions, but also some family traditions which I am sure will warm your heart.
However, more so than it is a Christmas story, it is a romance story and a very clean-cut romance story at that. It would have been difficult for it to have been anything but clean-cut considering Anna is an extremely shy person and Simon is the new parish curate. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make their story any less intriguing. In fact, it probably made it more realistic, which ultimately means that us readers can relate more.
For me, it is Anna’s anxiety issues that make this book most relatable. We feel her pain as she is burdened by prying questions, questions she is unable to answer as she hides a stutter that comes hand in hand with her anxiety. We feel her sense of relief when she unburdens herself on Simon, and her sense of confusion, embarrassment and possible betrayal when she realises she will be a seeing a lot more of him than she thinks. Anna really got a place in my heart.
To be perfectly honest, after about 10 pages of this book I thought it was going to bore me. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised in the end. I became interested in the Holley family and wanted to know more and more about them. Instead of finishing the last page feeling a sense of relief, I was looking for more. Luckily, there is more to come from the wonderful Kate Hewitt. Esther is the next sister whose story will be revealed. From what I already learned in A Vicarage Christmas about her, it is going to be a shocker!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.