The Village Vicar

A gorgeously uplifting new read from the bestselling author of A Village Affair

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Pub Date 19 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2023

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Fans of Katie Fforde, Phillipa Ashley and The Vicar of Dibley will love this heartwarming and witty new novel from Julie Houston.

Three devoted sisters... One complicated family.

When Rosa Quinn left her childhood home in Westenbury, she never expected to return over a decade later as the village vicar. But after a health scare and catching her boyfriend cheating, Rosa jumps at the chance to start over and live closer to her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah.

But Rosa's isn't the only old face in the village, and when her role in the parish throws her into the path of her ex, she begins to wonder if she's made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Eva and Hannah face their own troubles, as secrets about their family threaten to emerge.

Can Rosa make a life for herself in Westenbury? Or will the sisters discover you can't run away from the past?

Praise for Julie Houston's books:
'A warm, funny story of sisters and the secrets they keep' Sheila O'Flanagan
'Warm, funny and well written, with a page turning plot, this book has everything! I loved it!' Katie Fforde
'Julie Houston at her best – heartfelt and hilarious' Sandy Barker
'Laugh-out-loud hilarious and heartwarming!' Mandy Baggot
'This book is an absolute gigglefest with characters you'll fall in love with!' Katie Ginger

Fans of Katie Fforde, Phillipa Ashley and The Vicar of Dibley will love this heartwarming and witty new novel from Julie Houston.

Three devoted sisters... One complicated family.

When Rosa Quinn left...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781803280004
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

This looks like such a great and fun read! I love sister themed novels. Full review to follow both here and on the blog. I can’t wait to see how this book pans out especially with Rosa bumping into her ex. Def going to make a beach read,

Three devoted sisters... One complicated family.

When Rosa Quinn left her childhood home in Westenbury, she never expected to return over a decade later as the village vicar. But after a health scare and catching her boyfriend cheating, Rosa jumps at the chance to start over and live closer to her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah.

But Rosa's isn't the only recent return to the village, and when her role in the parish throws her into the path of her ex, she begins to wonder if she's made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Eva and Hannah face their own troubles, as secrets about their family threaten to emerge.

Can Rosa make a life for herself in Westenbury? Or will the sisters discover that you can't run away from the past?

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Three and a half stars.

Rosa Quinn, former high-flying financial entrepreneur (yep, you got it, I can't recall what it was she did) jacked it all in after a relationship crashed and burned and she suffered a massive health scare. Now, six years later, she has retrained as a vicar and has returned to her home town of Westenbury, Yorkshire as the new parish vicar, following in the footsteps of her late (but not lamented) grandfather Cecil.

Rosa is a triplet. Her sisters Hannah and Eva also live close by. Eva is a dentist, married with two children. Hannah works for child legal services and is single, but having an affair with a married man which she can't seem to end.

The triplets have an unusual history. Born of a night of passion between famous artist Alice Parkes and Bill Astley, Marquess of Stratton, they were adopted by Alice's sister Susan and her husband Richard when Alice casually informed them that she intended to put the babies up for adoption!

Twenty years ago (ish) the triplets all had a pash on the new boy in town, Joe Rosavina, now nothing seems to have changed, there's a new dentist at Eva and her husband Rayan's practice, Sam Burrows, and all three of them are smitten. But Joe is also back in town - will Rosa rekindle the romance?

This was quite difficult to get into at first, there was the whole backstory with Alice and her father and sister. Then there was the backstory of each of the triplets to get through - about a quarter of the way through I didn't really know where it was going or why Rosa had left London to return to Yorkshire. However, it did all resolve itself in the end.

Once things got straightened out I enjoyed this book, the love/hate relationship the triplets had felt real and they were each facing their own issues.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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The Village Vicar by Julie Houston

When Rosa Quinn left her childhood home in Westenbury, she never expected to return over a decade later as the village vicar. But after a health scare and catching her boyfriend cheating, Rosa jumps at the chance to start over and live closer to her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah.
But Rosa's isn't the only recent return to the village, and when her role in the parish throws her into the path of her ex, she begins to wonder if she's made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Eva and Hannah face their own troubles, as secrets about their family threaten to emerge.
This was a really lovely and endearing read. Enjoyed the dynamics of the triplets and there individual lives.
The character Rosa was an interesting one , and I feel this could be the first in a series as I am keen to find out more.
It would also work well as a tv series of even a film.

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The Village Vicar is one of those books I raced to finish and then had to slow down because I didn't want it to end.

#NoSpoilers but this an absolute cracker of a story, Ms. Houston has created a rich cast of relatable characters and in triplets Rosa, Eva and Hannah has absolutely nailed the nuances of both sibling and parental relationships.

I love the village of Westenbury and the lives and loves of its inhabitants that the author has created there.

I laughed and I cried and as satisfying as the ending was, I was sad for Rosa, Hannah and Eva's story to be over.

A great read.

Highly recommend.

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This book was just fabulous. Three great women, three triplets getting in with their lives in a small village. What they do clearly links together and intertwines, and we follow them on a bit of a roller coaster few months with some flash backs to their conception, upbringing and major decisions made for them or by them. Such a good and easy read - well worth staying awake to read in one sitting!

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I like this author and I think I was probably expecting more from the story then there was. It’s a about Rosa Quinn who moved away and has come to her old childhood house! Will she be able to stay in the same village as her Ex! A good read

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I was not sure about this book at first. It jumps around a lot but fab story about triplets ,art , aristocratic people and some interesting twists. It was a book that kept giving. Loved it

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Wow what a brilliant book. got totally lost in it and didn't want to put it down. Could identify with the sisters, story was realistic and thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved all the references to the places it mentioned and the ideas where brilliant, will definitely be looking to read other books by this author.

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Brilliant storyline and amazing writing, fab characters, loved Alice and bill and of course their triplets, posh titles and inherited land doesn't mean they have to behave a certain way does it? This book has a lot of light hearted moments in it, really couldn't put this read down

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Rosa gives up her high flying career after a health scare to train as vicar. She then gets sent to her childhood village that she hasn't been back to in years. Her 2 sisters are delighted to have her back.

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Fabulous book. I loved it and was all the better for being written by all three triplets. The book was funny, sweet and funny. Everything you want from a summer read. It was a really lovely read.
Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I was fooled into almost not reading the rest of this after not really enjoying the first chapter but when the story moved on it all changed. There were many unexpected moments and nothing was entirely predictable which is a positive for me. I liked the relationship between the three sisters who had their differences but throughout it all were family and always supported each other. I feel like family acting like a supportive family is quite a refreshing change. The story centred around the three sisters mainly and them working through their adult relationships. There was some sadness and very little stereotyping. Nothing hugely sinister but enough to keep you engaged and wanting to find out where the three sisters would each end up. As the title suggests, there was one sister placed at the centre of the story from who’s viewpoint we saw the majority of the text but there was not really a bias.

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I have to say the title of the book is a bit misleading as the story is more about 3 sisters, their family and the village.

There are some great characters and it was certainly enjoyable.

Well worth a read.

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A family of secrets. Triplets that were raised by their aunt and of royal blood. I enjoyed the separate path each girl took and how they dealt with. I enjoyed how they grew and the path they took. Although the title threw me off, one of the triplets did become a vicar after experience a life or death situation. She knew at that time they path she wanted to take to become a better person. Since each girl had a prominent role in the book, I felt the title wasn't correct.. The book was well written, even though slow, personally this wasn't what I would normally read. However, the ending was an explosion of discovery which left me with my mouth hanging open. That alone made this book worth the read just to get to that place.

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Almost didn't request to read this, due to the title, but so glad I did. An easy to read tale of triplet sisters and their relationship with each other. Set in a lovely village, full of characters, I devoured it in an afternoon

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The Village Vicar is a wholesome story with family at its heart and to add to this there's spice, drama and some very,very enticing eye candy. A Julie Houston book is always a pleasure to get lost in any time of the year.

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I was so excited to request Julie Houston's new novel 'The Village Vicar' as I have read all of her previous books and absolutely fallen in love with them. This one was no exception!

I love the village/community feel of a Julie Houston novel, the characters are so well created and developed that they become like your own friends. Though it was a slow start with the backstory of Alice etc, it suddenly picked up pace and I finished reading it in a day.

Was sad to finish this novel and leave the characters behind. Can't wait for the next one!

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Lovely feel good book to read. It was a joy to read. Lovely characters. Great plot. The book was charming. Very well written. I’d definitely recommend this book. Great to be back with this author

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I really enjoyed this story of triplets and their unusual upbringing. The way their lives change and intertwine is well written and believable. An excellent annual leave read.

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Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. I have to start by saying that there are a few 'steamy scenes' within the story which may take the reader by surprise. Although the title is The Village Vicar, the story is about 3 sisters that are triplets, one of which has returned to her hometown as the new vicar. We follow the women's lives and the journey of how they have got to where they are now. An interesting story with plenty of ups and downs.

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an easy read about triplet sisters and their relationship. lovely setting and plot. enjoyed the book very much

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How could Julie Houston do this to me???

I wait patiently for her books to come out & this one finishes at least 200 pages short! Yes, I enjoyed it so much. What a great story of the complexity of families & life. Every character I could relate to & I want to be the triplets BBF.
Rosa, Hannah & Eva are triplets that were born to Alice Parkes & her 'one-night stand'. Bill, the twelfth Marquess of Stratton. Alice, an artist, decided to put her children up for adoption, but her sister Susan & her husband adopted the girls at birth. Life's up & down's lead them to this point in the book where life changes are happening. The story's twists & turns make this a great page turner & I do hope there's going to be a sequel. I need to know more about the lives in this book.

Highly recommended read!

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I have read many Julie Houston books, and I have loved each one, but (and it's a very small but) this one didn't quite hit the mark as the others have done and I do hate saying that, but this one just didn't have the old magic, it's a charming lovely and very sweet story and there were aspects of it I did really like, but not one of my favourites. Sorry!

I won't focus too much on what I didn't like, as I don't that's fair, but for me, it was the pacing and I found it slow at the beginning which prevented me from properly getting into the story right from the start.

So I will focus on what I did like; the setting - for those who know me will know that any book set in Yorkshire and I will read it, I loved the descriptions of the village and the area, it's charming and vivid in the mind. I liked the sisters, Rosa (whose story we're reading) has moved back to her home village after a broken relationship and after giving everything up to retain as a vicar - yes, I thought that was a little different too, but a good twist on the usual female character storyline. Her two sisters; Hannah and Eva, aren't as happily loved up as they all would like to make out and so we head into the realms of emotional womens fiction territory ( which I do love) I did enjoy learning about the sister's history and their backstories, it explains a lot of the women they have become.

I liked the love-hate relationships which entwine within the story, it's complex and emotional at the same time and I did enjoy that, I just wished that it didn't feel as slow. But hey, that's just me.

Overall, a heart-warming story of family and love, it's not my personal favourite of the author's catalogue but it's still worth a read for anyone who has either read the author before or loves emotional stories!

Thank you to the publisher for this arc.

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Three devoted sisters... One complicated family.
When Rosa Quinn left her childhood home in Westenbury, she never expected to return over a decade later as the village vicar. But after a health scare and catching her boyfriend cheating, Rosa jumps at the chance to start over and live closer to her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah.
But Rosa's isn't the only recent return to the village, and when her role in the parish throws her into the path of her ex, she begins to wonder if she's made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Eva and Hannah face their own troubles, as secrets about their family threaten to emerge.
Can Rosa make a life for herself in Westenbury? Or will the sisters discover that you can't run away from the past?

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The first book by this author that I had the pleasure of reading, very similar to the likes of Katie Fforde and Philipa Ashley which was brilliant. I enjoyed the differing storylines amongst the triplets and the twist at the end was an added bonus

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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. I have enjoyed all this authors books and this was no exception. It was a great feel good lovely read. I would recommend to others.

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This has been a book I have been looking forward to, and it didn't disappoint, Rosa Quinn head back to her childhood village after training to be a vicar,

This book made me smile from start to finish, raced though but didn't really want the end to come.

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Yet another fantastic novel by Julie Houston!

An up-lifting and heart-warming plot that kept me wanting to read from the very first page. I love the delicate way that she weaves the strands of her characters lives together. I adored exploring the relationship between the sisters. Such a fun read!

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"The Village Vicar" is an unexpected character with an interesting career history and fascinating family background. There probably couldn't be three more different women than triplets Rosa, Eva and Hannah, but they stick together and support each other. Rosa is the new vicar, back in her childhood village, Eva is a high-flying dentist with two children and an ambitious husband, while Hannah is a youth worker used to dealing with delinquent teenagers, but who sometimes struggles with adults.

As the women properly re-unite for the first time in many years (Rosa had been working in London) they are all battling problems and trying to sort out their lives. This book deals with some serious issues and is not quite as light hearted as the cover illustration might suggest. Very enjoyable and recommended.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.

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A lovely story of 3 sisters and how they discover a complicated family history.. A real page turner with lots of laughs along the way. One of the sisters Rosa returns to Westenbury as a vicar and when she meets her ex who she never got over cheating on her.
What follows is a journey from discovering their real birth mother to finding out past secrets.
Thoroughly enjoyed thanks to NetGalley & Aria & Aries publishers for a advanced copy.
Would highly recommend.

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I've been a fan of Julie Houston's for a while now and each book she writes is a little better than the last! I loved this story of 3 triplet sisters and their lives.
I also loved the characters, both major and minor ones, who brought the setting of Westenbury to life once more!
I love how Julie can bring both humour and a little sadness into her stories. This one didn't disappoint. It is always nice to see characters from her other books mentioned occasionally, whilst never detracting from the story being played out.
I can't wait to find out what happens next in Westenbury - the stories are so interesting it makes me want to move there, myself!

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A nice easy read. Not the most exciting of storylines, but sometimes you don’t want that from a book. There were some twists, although it was predictable. I enjoyed this book whilst on holiday.

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The story of three united sisters living in the small Yorkshire village they grew up in.
A slightly Bohemian family in one way, and a traditional family in some aspects.
The three sisters have very different professional lives. One is a dentist, married
with two children running a flourishing practice, the other is a youth counsellor
dealing with troubled kids and the other is tge vicar returning to the same church
where her disliked grandfather was vicar. She forms the main part of this story.

The lives of the three sisters is complicated. The married one is bored, looks for
excitement and finds it in the new hire in the clinic. Unfortunately for her, his
interests lie elsewhere. The next is involved with a married man, swears to the sisters
that she broke it off/going to and doesnt until full drama in the form of his wife
turning up at church and creating a scene that was so dramatic, it was pure theatre
and then we have the vicar returning after a bout of cancer, on top of a devastating love
affair to find that her ex lover has also moved back home.

The drama in their lives spill over but the strong bond of sisterhood overcomes any
other problems they face. A interesting take on sisters, motherhood and vicars(my knowledge
of vicars is zero)

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After a very successful career in London, Rosa Quinn returns to Westenbury to be the village vicar. Rosa hadn’t planned to return to the village where she grew up but a health scare and a change of career mean she finds herself back in the vicarage where her grandparents lived.
Her sisters, Eva a successful dentist and Hannah a youth worker, are pleased to see her back. Returning to the village brings back a lot of memories, not all of them good, but Rosa is determined to lay the ghosts of the past to rest. This could be harder than she thought though when her old love, Joe, also returns.
As triplets the sisters have always been close but as long held secrets come to the surface, they will need all of their family love and loyalty to stick together.
This is a lovely story of family, friendship and love. It’s well written and set in a beautiful location. I found myself totally absorbed in each sisters story and the relationship they had with each other and their other family members.

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Loved it, but I pretty much have loved all the books that take place in Westenbury!! It was nice that the book mainly focused on Rosa, Eva and Hannah, rather than the usual characters that have been in the previous books. The triplets are quite the characters, all with different personalities and not afraid to voice their opinions. I don't remember if Bill Astley was ever mentioned in the previous books, after awhile the books and characters start to blend together. Alice Parkes was definitely my least favorite character in the book. The girls were lucky to have Susan and Richard as their parents and not Alice. Susan's revelation was shocking and not what I was expecting. Hannah shouldn't have been too shocked about Alexandra's declaration at church. That was quite a priceless moment. Hannah was doing exactly what Joe did to Rosa. I was afraid Rosa was going to forgive Joe and get back together with him. She seemed to blame Carys for what happened. Azra is a great mother-in-law, even if she shows up unexpectedly and stays for undetermined amounts of time. The book focuses on love, forgiveness, family relationship, friendship and so much more. Every time I read the books about Westenbury, I want to live there and become friends with everyone. Loved the mentioning of Virginia working at Piccone's Pickles.

Definitely recommend the book. Loved the characters, story and writing style. Look forward to reading more books by the author. I simply can't resist going back to Westenbury.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Aria & Aries through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It portrayed the differences in families and their lives. I felt the characters were relatable and loved each of the triplets, Rosa, Hannah and Eva.

All three girls, the children of Alice & Bill who she had a “one-night stand” with. Bill, who’s the twelfth Marquess of Stratton.

Then Alice made a decision to put them up for adoption, instead, Susan(her sister) and her husband adopted them.

But something soon, changes are taking place, and the twists that came made this story a page-turner.

I hope there’s more to come after this book, I’d love to know what happens next.

Highly recommended read.

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Rosa returns to the village she grew up in, to be the new vicar. Her story tells of the triplets, their history, and their lives now. An uplifting, really enjoyable rom com. I think a sequel is needed!

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Rosa's life as a high flying businesswoman takes a sudden turn, and years later she returns to the village she was brought up in, to take over as vicar and to live in the vicarage that her grandparents lived in. She is one of triplets, and her sisters Eva and Hannah also live in the village. Can they all get through the curve balls love throws at them, and settle happily together at last?

A sweet, quick read. Multiple quirky characters, lots of miscommunication, and some sweet family relationships are explored.

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What an absolutely gorgeous story, full of warmth, love, family and community. The journeys of the triplets was exceptionally good and I enjoyed all the twists and turns

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It took a while to get into this book. It stay with it as it gets better. Three sisters, triplets are born to an artist who decides rather than give the children up for adoption her sister will adopted the girls and raise them. One is a village vicar, one a dentist and one works with young offenders. The book follows them plus their family both blood relatives and adopted family. Thanks to Julie Houston and your publisher. Thanks also to NetGalley.

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Rosa's moved home to be the vicar in the village of Westenbury where her sisters Hannah and Eva still live. The triplets have always supported each other, even though they are very different, in part because of their unusual upbringing. Know that this is heavy on back story for the women even delving into their parents. Rosa's switch from finance to the church hasn't been easy but she's pleased to be home. And so is Joe,, the man the three all liked as girls. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. There aren't many surprises here but it's a pleasant read.

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The Village Vicar by Julie Houston is a lovely story mostly about three sisters with some family drama, small-town drama, and a bit of romance.

Story Recap:
Rosa Quinn is returning to her home village as the vicar. She’s been away for years, and never expected to return, especially as the vicar! She had a high-powered job in finance, and after a health scare, she re-evaluated her life and became a vicar.

Rosa also wants to be closer to her sisters, Eva and Hannah who are her triplet siblings and they grew up very close. Eva is a dentist, married to another dentist who is bored with her marriage, and Hannah is single, but dating a married man. Each of these sisters has a lot going on, but the book is mainly about Rosa.

My Thoughts:
I love a good book about sisters and this one fit the bill. I loved that they are triplets and yet they each have separate and very distinct personalities. Rosa is my favorite sister and the book is mainly about her. She’s had a tough time with a bad health scare and a cheating husband, but she’s optimistic and ready to serve the village as the vicar.

The pacing was good. It did take a bit to get into, but the pace picked up soon after and the rest of the book flew by. I also enjoyed the sisters interactions, as they felt authentic to me. I hope to get a book about Hannah, as I enjoyed her character and would like to know more about her, and Eva.

I highly recommend The Village Vicar to anyone who enjoyes women’s fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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3.5 stars
An engaging story full of family secrets and the loving support of siblings.
Beth, Hannah and Eva were fun and interesting main characters - each fiercely loyal to their triplet sisters, they stood together when needed, but had the familiar battles as sisters often do. I loved seeing their clashes of personality and the competitive side of each of them fighting to have their part of the story.
The story took a little while to get going as we learnt the backstory of the triplet’s mother, Alice -but once it was clear how everyone linked together the story flowed well.
I thought Beth was the most developed character- her decisions in changing her life direction were cleverly written and enabled me as the reader to empathise with her.

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When it comes to sisters, vicars and villages my mind always goes to Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym.
I'm wondering what would she write now and I think she would like this story about a triplets, complex families, and village life.
A good story that mixes family relationships, romance and a lovely village.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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The Village Vicar follows the story of Rosa Quinn who decides on a career change swapping her high flying London, City life and instead dons a dog collar and leads the flock in the Yorkshire village of Westenbury as their new vicar. This is no new parish for Rosa as previously her grandfather was the parish priest there and she was born and raised there alongside her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah..

We hear the back stories of the three sisters as they unfold and it’s amazing how three women who are connected in a very unusual, albeit, complicated way, live different lives.

When I first picked up this book, I suppose I was expecting something completely different judging by the title and the book cover (that old adage of “never judge a book….”) I think I was expecting a cosy story of a parish in Yorkshire, a bit like the Miss Read books, however this book was punchy and captivating and I adored every word that was written.

There are sad parts of the story, parts where you are screaming for a character not to be taken in and other parts which will warm your heart – for me this book had it all. There are also some characters in there who you won’t warm to (for me, this was Alice) but I don’t think we were meant to like her selfish life choices.

This was the first book I’ve read by this author; however I’ve seen on Amazon that she has written plenty more books which is great especially when you discover an author you love because you just want to devour everything they have written! I now have A Village Affair on my Kindle, the kettle boiling in the kitchen for a cup of coffee and peace and quiet in the house so I can dive straight in to that! I think Julie Houston is going to fast become one of my favourite authors.

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This is such an enjoyable book! A delightful cast of characters, a storyline that with several layers that takes many surprising turns makes up to a wonderful read. It is about much more than the village vicar, as Rosy’s two triplet sisters have equal star billing. I can not recommend this book highly enough!

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Triplets Rosa, Eva and Harriet have always had a close bond, although they pursued very different careers and live different personal lives. Eva is a dentist, married, but longing for something more in her life. Rosa became a vicar after some life changing events and Harriet is a youth worker who is carrying on an affair with a married man. There is lots of family drama, and some surprising twists and turns!

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The story begins with a young, independant artist named Alice, who is staring down the knife weilding wife of her French lover. Deciding to flee back to her family in England, fate leads her to sit next to Bill, the Marquess of Stratton, on the plane and after a night of passion their worlds are intertwined forever.

It's almost 40 years later and triplets Rosa, Eva and Hannah are back living in the village. After being adopted by their maternal Aunt Susan and Uncle Richard, they grew up together within a short drive of Bill's estate and have always known their heritage.

Rosa has only recently returned to the village after giving up her finance career to become a vicar! Eva is married with two daughters and a true career woman with a booming family dentistry practice. Hannah is working in youth justice and has been having an affair with a married man that she just can't kick. All three believe they know all they need to about their family, but fate has a way of changing everything in the most unexpected ways possible. Something these three are about to experience...

This book had some brilliant twists, and the last one left me reeling!! I loved diving into the world of the triplets and the fact that the story cleverly jumped between timelines to provide further depth. This book was not what I expected at all, but in a brilliant way, although I will admit I was a little confused at the start when the story didn't seem to match the blurb at all.

Thank you to Netgalley, Author Julie Houston and Head of Zeus - Aria & Aries for the ARC copy. The book is publishing today: 19th January 2023!

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Rosa, Eva and Hannah are triplets who are all living their own lives. Eva and Hannah stayed in Westbury where they grew up but Rosa moved away where she eventually found her calling as a vicar.
After a breakup with her boyfriend she decides to move back to Westbury to be closer to her family but she is also about to become the local vicar.
As she moves in to the vicarage she finds out that she isn't the only one moving back to where they grew up as her ex and first love is also back
An enjoyable read finding out more about the triplets and their stories

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This tale of three sisters us an enjoyable read . Although triplets, Rosa, Eva and Hannah are so different in personality but so close. Family dynamics are complicated but at the same time, there is an acceptance of what is important in blending a family together. You get a lovely insight into life in the village through the church volunteers and I liked the community feel that runs through the story.

Rosa, as the new vicar, turns out to have a surprising backstory which makes her decision to become a vicar credible and you always sense her sincerity. Eva is dissatisfied with her home life but on the face of it is an extremely successful professional woman and parent. Hannah seems the most troubled and is torn between what she knows to be right and her competing desires. There are some real surprises at the end of the story but the sisters support each other through them. This is a feelgood read with interesting characters and a plot which keeps you involved.

In short: heartwarming story of family and love
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book

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The wait was finally over, to read and review the new Julie Houston offering. Some interesting characters, but well written and very enjoyable.

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I always enjoy the mix of drama, emotion and humour in this author's stories. The Village Vicar moves between the early 1980s and the present day and explores the life of the Quinn family in Westenbury. The setting is authentically vibrant, and the mix of the historical and present-day makes this multilayered story engaging. The dynamic between the sisters is believably complex. I like the characters. They are realistically flawed, which makes them endearingly human. The intricate plot, with its many twists, keeps you turning the pages, and I read it in one day, wanting to know what happened next to the Quinn sisters.

I like the characters, the sibling connection, the mystery and the many laugh-out-loud moments this book provides.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

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As the book starts with an advert – distinctly contemporary – for Westenbury’s new vicar, it might come as something of a surprise when the book’s action begins in 1984, with artist wild child Alice returning from a stay in Paris and continuing to act rather unconventionally (and a tad recklessly) at home, despite her strict vicar father. I’ve noticed that some other early reviews mentioned that made them feel the book was slow to start – but no, I most certainly didn’t. It’s all wonderfully told, and gives the foundations for the story that then unfolds in the present day about the Quinn triplets – now in their late 30s – as one of them, Rosa, returns to her childhood home to take up her post as Westenbury’s new vicar.

It’s a big change for her – she’s been through a massive health scare, has walked away from her high-flying career, and also suffered the most painful end of a relationship that involved a considerable measure of betrayal. But her decision was made easier by the prospect of being closer to her sisters – Eva and her husband have a young family and a very successful dental practice (their marriage though, might have become a little stale), and Hannah has a career working with young offenders (although her private life – an ongoing affair with a married man – is rather less rosy).

The book then moves into the territory you might have expected from the author’s books – the sisters’ lives, the relationships between them, the start of Rosa’s time in her new parish, and the waves caused by the arrival in the village of a hot new dentist to work at Eva’s practice. And there are more waves to come – the news that there’s another new arrival in the village, and it’s the one person that Rosa hoped she’d never cross paths with again. And in the background, there’s always the story of the triplets’ unusual parentage – and it’s one I won’t spoil – that goes on to take the story in a direction I really wasn’t expecting, and I really, really loved it.

This book was filled with so many of those wonderful set pieces that I love about the author’s writing – sometimes very funny, sometimes emotional, and some (aargh – that confrontation in the church!) that make you gasp. The characters are so beautifully drawn – and not just the three sisters whose lives you’re drawn into, but the whole supporting cast – and the relationships between them, especially that special bond of sisterhood (and across the generations), wonderfully handled. Some of the characters are gloriously quirky – particularly Eva’s mother-in-law Azra, taking over her home, replete with some great one-liners that strongly reminded me of the Lithuanian lollipop lady I so loved in the author’s earlier books. And then there are the ones that totally capture your heart – for me, that was certainly Bill, the Marquess of Stratton.

There’s a developing romance in the mix too – well, there is a hot dentist after all – and it was a slowly developing one that really engaged me emotionally. The humour, I thought, was perhaps dialled down a little compared with the author’s earlier books – a little more gentle, but perfectly judged, still with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. But the story-telling – that was quite superb, perfectly paced, shocks and surprises aplenty, and with one of the most satisfying and uplifting endings I could have possibly wished for. Yes, it was a book I really loved – and highly recommended by me.

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I enjoyed this story of triplets Eva, Hannah and Rosa so much, there were lots of twists that kept you turning the page and some very funny moments. I couldn’t wait to read to the end to find out what happens for each of them. The first part of the book is the backstory and I found this added layers to their story and I also felt more engaged with all the characters knowing the history. This is a charming and cosy book based on familial relationships, small village and lost love and newly found love..

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The Village Vicar is an enjoyable, heartwarming story. It is not my normal sort of book as I prefer thrillers but it was a nice change to read something lighter and uplifting.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for my ARC.

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What a fantastic book. The story and writing was brilliant as were the characters. It was light hearted and I found it difficult to put down!

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I enjoyed Houston’s story because I liked following the triplets, especially as they were such varied characters. Although I thought the story took a while to get going, I came to appreciate the time that the writer spent establishing the back-story of the women; it becomes more important once you are really into the main story.

Rosa, Hannah and Eva are at different points in their lives and whilst Rosa seems to be the central character, I enjoyed how Houston focussed on all of their lives. Being so close to one another, it is natural that their lives interweave so much, emphasised further by them now all living in close proximity. Yet, the book is not just about Rosa returning to Westenbury as the new village vicar, but also her past. Over time, readers learn about Rosa’s background in London, her career and what events caused her to drastically change her lifestyle.

Yet, despite Rosa finding a new calling, it would seem that she and none of the sisters are actually very happy. An idyllic location and an appealing novel cover would both imply that this is quite an uplifting, merry story. However, Houston explores the issues of blended families, absent parents and illnesses in this novel. Whilst they do not make this a hard, depressing slog, I think it shows extra dimension to this story. In this way, I enjoyed the detail that the writer goes in to and I thought this made the plot more interesting to read.

What I disliked about the story was the complete lack of loyalty displayed in so many relationships. Occasional infidelity in a novel I can accept, but when it seems that no one in the novel has a happy, trusting relationship, well, it did rock my core a little bit! I was disappointed that Houston does not promote any loving couple in the slightest; all relationships are based on dishonesty, cheating and dissatisfaction. It felt a bit of a come-down to the story and influenced me to dislike the characters a bit less.

I also struggled to adapt to Houston’s writing style. Frequent use of long, flowing, complex sentences meant that I felt mentally breathless reading this book. So many times the sentence structures were incredibly long – adding a breathy feel to the narrative – but it also felt a little bit out of control. At first, I found this style a bit grating but I did adjust to it. Personally, I prefer a more varied sentence structure in narratives and felt this “rambling” style to lessen my interest in the overall story.

The characters of Rosa, Hannah and Eva all bring something different and unexpected to this novel. I enjoyed the flashbacks into their pasts because it made their characters even more interesting but I would have definitely preferred more loyalty along the way.

With thanks to Aria Fiction, Head of Zeus and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Village Vicar
The Village Vicar by Julie Houston
The Village Vicar
by Julie Houston (Goodreads Author)
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*'s reviewJan 26, 2023 · edit
really liked it
bookshelves: 2023, 2023-netgalley-challenge, 4-star, contemporary-fiction, family-drama, friendship, romance, stand-alone, women-s-fiction, small-town-fiction

EXCERPT: 'And when the policeman had me wind down my window, saw my lovely pink dress all soaked and dripping, my laddered tights and looking like some pink blancmanged Alice Cooper -' Rosa rubbed at the rivulets of black mascara down her cheeks '- and asked me for my identity and I said, 'I'm Reverend Rosa Quinn, the village vicar. I'm just on my way up to my father's place at Stratton Hall,' he replied with, 'Yes, sweetheart, and I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury and later on, I'll be off to my mother's place at Buckingham Palace.' And he made me get out of the car and breathalysed me.'

ABOUT 'THE VILLAGE VICAR': Three devoted sisters... One complicated family.

When Rosa Quinn left her childhood home in Westenbury, she never expected to return over a decade later as the village vicar. But after a health scare and catching her boyfriend cheating, Rosa jumps at the chance to start over and live closer to her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah.

But Rosa's isn't the only old face in the village, and when her role in the parish throws her into the path of her ex, she begins to wonder if she's made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Eva and Hannah face their own troubles, as secrets about their family threaten to emerge.

Can Rosa make a life for herself in Westenbury? Or will the sisters discover you can't run away from the past?

MY THOUGHTS: I have read and enjoyed quite a few of Julie Houston's books, but she takes her writing and her characters to a whole new level with The Village Vicar. This is the best book by this author that I have read.

Julie has taken all the things I love in a multi-generational family drama and expertly woven them into a fascinating story of complicated family relationships and a contested will.

I loved the rivalry between the triplet sisters tempered by their love of one another. Their older sister, Virginia, has always felt left out of the tight trio, and soothed herself with the knowledge that they were adopted, cuckoos in her nest. She lives a safe and secure life, often outraged by the lives of the three, even now that they are adults.

Eva, Hannah and Rosa each have their own distinct personality, although that doesn't stop them all fancying the same man! So while diverse, they also have some similarities: Eva and Rosa are quite driven; Hannah and Rosa passionate and unlucky in love.

Their mothers - birth mother artist Alice; adoptive mother her sister Susan - are also vastly different personalities. And it is with their story that this humorous and touching book begins.

Highly recommended.


#TheVillageVicar #NetGalley

I: @juliehoustonauthor @headofzeus

T: @JulieHouston2 @AriaFiction @HoZ_Books

#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #friendship #romance #smalltownfiction

THE AUTHOR: Julie lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire where her novels are set, and her only claims to fame are that she teaches part-time at ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding’s old junior school and her neighbour is ‘Chocolat’ author, Joanne Harris. After University, where she studied Education and English Literature, she taught for many years as a junior school teacher. As a newly qualified teacher, broke and paying off her first mortgage, she would spend every long summer holiday working on different Kibbutzim in Israel. After teaching for a few years she decided to go to New Zealand to work and taught in Auckland for a year before coming back to this country. She now teaches just two days a week, and still loves the buzz of teaching junior-aged children. She has been a magistrate for the past nineteen years, and, when not distracted by Ebay, Twitter and Ancestry, spends much of her time writing. Julie is married, has a twenty-four-year-old son and twenty-one-year-old daughter and a ridiculous Cockerpoo called Lincoln. She runs and swims because she’s been told it’s good for her, but would really prefer a glass of wine, a sun lounger and a jolly good book - preferably with Matthew Mcconaughay in attendance.

She hates skiing, gets sick on boats and wouldn’t go pot-holing or paddy diving if her life depended on it.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Aria & Aries via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Village Vicar by Julie Houston for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

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I always look forward to a new book from Julie Houston and this one was a sheer delight!

Rosa Quinn has had a few upsets in her life recently; a cheating boyfriend and a health scare makes her re-evaluate her life and she decides to return to Westenbury, close to both of her triplet sisters. As the new vicar, she gets to know the village inhabitants including, to her surprise, an ex boyfriend. Then it seems that their own family has some secrets which have been kept secret. Has Rosa made the right decision in returning to the fold?

Julie Houston is one of my very favourite authors - she raises my spirits like no other. Her writing is warm and witty and always makes me laugh. She has many novels set in and around Westenbury but I think this is my new favourite. Packed with fabulous characters and a great storyline, I know there will be more to come about this family and I can hardly wait! Completely entertaining and so very enjoyable. If you fancy a well written novel which will leave you feeling happy, look no further. Five glowing stars.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy; my apologies for the lateness in my review, due solely to an eye allergy which has kept me away from my computer screen.

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Don't be missled by the title of this book as it is based on the tale of three sisters, infact they are triplets.. Well worth a read and this author never fails to write a great book. 5 stars.

Thanks to Netgally and publisher for this ARC

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This wonderful story of family secrets and new beginnings was such a wonderfully warm-hearted read that I found myself swept along effortlessly by the story. Although the story is primarily about Rosa and her sisters, the story goes back in time to their birth mother Alice’s story, which gives additional background to the triplets story.

I loved the way in which the triplets had such different personalities, although as the new vicar in the village I found it so much easier to warm to Rosa. I think as the story progressed though, I found myself warming to Hannah and the abrasive Eva too.

I loved the feel of the village, and the additional characters, with the exception of Alice who was incredibly selfish, added depth to the story. I think my favourite side characters were Azra, Eva’s hilarious if a tiny bit overbearing mother in law, and Bill, the Marquess of Stratton, who I found to be completely endearing and I had such a soft spot for him.

There were twists and surprises galore, including one that I honestly did not see coming, and the ending was perfect. I’d love Hannah to get her own story too, as I think there is probably potential for it.

The Village Vicar is a story of secrets, surprises, sisterhood, motherhood, forgiveness, and facing the future in unity.

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