The Heart of a Vicar Review
Sarah Eden’s latest book is a story of second chances. And it’s a story of learning to accept oneself and be authentic. Vicar Harold Jonquil, who was according to his brothers, born to the role of vicar, seems increasingly uncomfortable in his calling. He seems to find no joy, and worries constantly that he is not being “vicar-ly” enough. And then, Sarah Sarvol, his childhood sweetheart, suddenly reappears in the village. Ms. Eden does a masterful job of capturing the tension and awkwardness in this unexpected reunion.
She also skillfully builds the story through a series of subplots and “B” storylines, that develop not only the main characters, but the supporting characters as well. As I read, I felt like I knew not only Harold and Sarah but also their family members.
Sarah’s situation grows increasingly dire, until it reaches a critical point, which we might (wrongly) assume is the climax of the story. But it’s not. One of the other things I like that Ms. Eden does very well is to bring a satisfying conclusion, not only to the main story, but to the sub-plots and “B” lines as well, leaving us feeling like we’ve read a complete story, and not left wondering.
This is one to put on your summer reading list.
The Heart of a Vicar Summary
Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired — until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.
When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried– but is it too late for second chances?
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