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The Rector's Wife Paperback – 1 Jul 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New Ed edition (1 July 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552994707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552994705
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanna Trollope has written several highly-acclaimed contemporary novels: The Choir, A Village Affair, A Passionate Man, The Rector's Wife, The Men and the Girls, A Spanish Lover, The Best of Friends, Next of Kin, Other People's Children, Marrying the Mistress, Girl from the South and Friday Nights. Other People's Children has been shown on BBC television as a major drama serial. Under the name of Caroline Harvey she writes romantic historical novels. She has also written a study of women in the British Empire, Britannia's Daughters. Joanna was born in Gloucestershire and lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.

Product Description

Review

"The portrayal of the petty frustrations of clerical life is spot on and the novel is elegantly written" (The Sunday Times)

"I would have killed anyone who wrested this novel from my hands... it's compulsive reading" (The Times)

"This is Trollope's finest novel to date. Prepare to be wittily and wisely entertained by an exceptional writer" (Daily Mail)

"Like a Barbara Pym novel, though Joanna Trollope has a much stronger grasp than Pym on the tangled web of family life" (The Times)

"The portrayal of the petty frustrations of clerical life is spot on and the novel is elegantly written" (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

A poignant story of lonliness, rebellion and love.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
I was a bit disappointed by this book. I have read several of Joanna Trollope's novels and really enjoyed them (Marrying the Mistress, the Best of Friends, A Spanish Lover to name a few), but I felt let down by the Rector's Wife. What I like about Joanna Trollope especially is her attention to detail, her observation of human characteristics, the way people talk, interact with each other etc but in this book I didn't find so much of this. To be honest I found the descriptions of the church and people related with it tiresome, and I had difficulty remembering who the subsidiary characters were, which isn't usually a problem. Also the main characters seemed somehow colourless. Nevertheless, it was, like her other books, an easy read and it did improve towards the end.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Miss C Tarbett on 3 July 2002
Format: Paperback
Not having read Joanna Trollope before, I borrowed The Rector's Wife from my mother and started reading it with some scepticism. A chapter in and I really was surprised how engaging this book is and not because, as I expected, it is full of self-pity and romance. Rather it deals with the complex and conflicting issues of religion, duty, love and passion with such sensitivity that I now understand how rewarding and yet stifling a life devoted to the church must be for thousands of women all over the world.
The book takes a sometimes uncomfortable look at the reality of living the life of a church wife - the expectations of a needy and judgemental parish, the frustration of putting your own needs and ambitions aside to make way for your husband's and what happens when you suddenly realise you've made a terrible mistake and you want your life back.
A really thoughtfully written book which I couldn't put down.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Raffles on 27 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book made me scream with frustration. I AM a rector's wife and I know just how many bloopers this book contains. I will describe just two, one serious, one trivial. First, the serious one. The whole plot is based on a mistake - clergy do not apply to become archdeacons. The church does not work like that. The Bishop asks someone to consider taking on the role and if they refuse, the Bishop asks someone else. Becoming a clergyman means answering God's call, which is why it is spoken of as a vocation. Climbing the corporate ladder has no place in the church and is in fact very rare. Second, the trivial one. A row of surplices blowing on the line? Ha Ha! My husband had just one surplice for the first 25 years of his ministry. Now he has two because a retiring colleague gave him one of his. They do not need more than one, any more than a policeman needs more than one uniform. I love Ms Trollope's later books but this one is more than an embarrassment, it is a disgrace, as it pedals misinformation about an institution that is already widely misunderstood and misrepresented. Shame.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
A very readable and quite enjoyable but slightly irritating novel about a clergy wife who rebels from the repressive life she's been leading, and first takes a job in a supermarket, and then, after having had two men pursue her, begins an affair with one of them - the nicer; she has good taste! The story takes place in a small town, and inevitably there are plenty of locals, some - like the good women of the parish - rather caricatured - others, like Isabel the deaconess or the Colonel's gin-swilling wife Marjorie - rather good fun to read about. The thing that makes the novel really worth reading is the main character, Anna Bouverie the vicar's wife, who is interesting, sympathetic and (apart from in the final stages, where she appears to feel no guilt about her affair and what (MILD PLOT SPOILER) it leads to and to meet tragedy with total calm and equanimity) believable. Trollope also writes sensitively about the exhausting work of a clergyman's wife, and how maddening it can become. There are a few other well created characters: Daniel Byrne, the Archdeacon, is someone I'd genuinely like to know, and Jonathan Byrne, Anna's lover, is sympathetic and interesting. But too many of the characters are flatly one-dimensional or not that believable.Read more ›
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 7 April 2008
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from my wife, and it's the first Joanna Trollope book I have read. Trollope writes very well and I soon found I couldn't put the book down. The characters really come alive and the picture of church and village life is realistic and compelling, although the ending was a slight anti-climax.

My one concern is that it's all frightfully upper middle class; people "lower in the social scale" appear in this book only as shallow caricatures of "ordinary folk".

That said, I will certainly read more of Joanna Trollope.
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