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The Rector's Wife

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,021 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Anna Bouverie is the rector's wife. She irons his surplices (badly), delivers the parish newsletter, and scrimps to get by on a pittance, all the while keeping up appearances. She rarely complains and rarely rebels. But now-as she watches her children do without, as her husband withdraws further into his work, and her frustration mounts into fury-Anna realizes that she's w ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Berkley Trade (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,986)
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Julian Lees
Mar 17, 2015 Julian Lees rated it did not like it
Slow and completely forgettable.
Colleen
Jul 03, 2009 Colleen rated it it was ok
This novel was well-written, a good study of the woman's predicament, but it was depressing because I could see where it was headed. She needed a savior, a real experience with God, but that never happened. I didn't like the two deus ex machina interventions where sudden things happened out of the blue to change the story in ways I won't disclose (don't want to spoil the story, in the event someone would want to read it after this review!).
Sally
Aug 15, 2012 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely book filled with housewifely angst and emotional growth, while her rector-husband seems to be going the other way. Very well written and lively, a real page-turner, but the ending seemed a bit predictable and manipulated. Overall, a good read!
Sherry
Nov 28, 2011 Sherry rated it really liked it
This was the first book I read by Joanna Trollope and I immediately became a fan. She writes clear, beautifully drawn characters in believable situations.
Dana
Mar 03, 2012 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading every book Trollope has ever written, as if i were taking a class studying her works from early to late. LOVE her, though some of her books are stronger than others. This one was good, not great. It was loosely based on Madame Bovary, by Flaubert. There was a shocking event towards the end, which I thought was unnecessary and a bit far fetched, and led to too tidy and ending, but I am not sorry I read the book. It seemed dated to me, not because it was written 20 years ago, but beca ...more
Louis
Oct 25, 2013 Louis rated it liked it
I read this book in paperback format for a book club.

I had read one other book, "Other people's children", by this author. I found that book to be intriguing. What I appreciated was the unflinching way that the author made her characters face obstacles for which sometimes there were no happy-ever-after endings.

In this book, Anna is the wife of Peter, the rector, in a small English village. As a rector's wife, she is supposed to be beyond reproach and dedicated to her husband. Anna finds herself
...more
Lisa of Hopewell
Oct 11, 2013 Lisa of Hopewell rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Excellent. I can truly feel Anna's life. The satirical aspects are dead on. Wow!! This book resonated with me!!! Anna Bouverie is the frustrated wife of the local Rector of small parish church in rural England. It is a modern-day story (well, 1990s or so--no cell phones!!) and one that I imagine pastor's wives the world over would find familiar. When the continual giving and smiling and sacrificing begins to way like a huge stone on her chest, when her once beloved husband seems to see her only ...more
Sheri
Dec 15, 2009 Sheri rated it liked it
I actually got the movie first and something was wrong so I couldn't see the end so I got the book. Lovely English countryside setting and the rector's wife is not very content with her domineering husband and the disapproval of most of the women of the church congregation for one reason or another.
It was a character filled book and the story was interesting. Good writing and I'd read another book by this author.
Donna Girouard
Aug 11, 2014 Donna Girouard rated it liked it
The story takes an unexpected turn. One thing that is typical though, is how Peter blames his wife's affair for the deterioration of their marriage instead of acknowledging that the deterioration of the marriage (chiefly due to his stubbornness and emotional abandonment of his wife) caused the affair.
Caroline
This was really a 2.5 star book. It was a nice story but the characters were generally irritating! The rector is smug and so busy doing good for the village that he doesn't have time for his wife. His wife after doing the right thing for the daughter and changing schools is full of self pity. She probably wasn't right for him in the first place and certainly seems to be having some type of mid-life crises which all her kids seem to think is ok. I especially liked both the Mothers who she had a g ...more
Antoinette Buchanan
Jun 20, 2014 Antoinette Buchanan rated it it was ok
Dear heaven what a hideous bunch. Wanted to smack the lot of them.
Arlene
Jun 01, 2016 Arlene rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Life in a rural English church is like living in a fish bowl. And Anna has had enough. After 20 years as a rector's wife, she wonders who she is. It seems she has lost herself along the way. But how does she deal with this situation? By taking a part time low wage job. And this small act of rebellion opens the door to a new way of life. Was it easy? No. Did people pay the price for her freedom? Yes. Ms Trollope describes life in an English village so well but she shows the dark side as well as t ...more
Dana
Feb 19, 2012 Dana rated it liked it
The Rector's Wife, by Joanna Trollope:I am reading every book Trollope has ever written, as if i were taking a class studying her works from early to late. LOVE her, though some of her books are stronger than others. This one was good, not great. It was loosely based on Madame Bovary, by Flaubert. There was a shocking event towards the end, which I thought was unnecessary and a bit far fetched, and led to too tidy and ending, but I am not sorry I read the book. It seemed dated to me, not because ...more
Julia
Nov 20, 2010 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
British Lit, written in 1991. Anna Bouverie is the Rector's wife. She's a resourceful woman, but in truth, they are barely gettng by on the pittance that the church pays her husband. She is not normally a complainer, but recently she is becoming more dissatisfied as she sees her children doing without things they really want in order to fit in. At the same time Anna's husband is retreating further into his work. Sounds like midlife crisis for both of them. Anna takes a job at the local grocer to ...more
Mary
Jun 30, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
Anna Bouverie is the rector's wife. She has organized suppers at the deanery, has made cakes for the Brownies' Easter bake sales, delivers the parish newsletters, and scrimps to get by on a pittance, all the while keeping up appearances for the sake of the parishioners. She rarely complains and rarely rebels and for twenty years it has worked quite well for her. That is until her husband doesn't receive the promotion to the archdeaconship that he wishes and he retreats into isolated bitterness. ...more
Linda
Apr 28, 2013 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Anna Bouverie’s rebellion against her life of trying to be all things to all people in her husband’s small rural parish in England. The family ekes out a living on Peter Bouverie’s pitiful salary while Anna feels unfulfilled as a wife and mother and also assumes many duties that the parish women seem to expect of her. Things come to a head when Peter is overlooked for a promotion to archdeacon and he becomes increasingly depressed and bitter. Their daughter Flora hates her ...more
Ivy Weston
Apr 06, 2011 Ivy Weston rated it really liked it
My mom recommended this book, which made me nervous ... my mom sometimes likes really cozy women's fiction books, which is fine, but sometimes they veer from the cozy into another word that begins with c -- cheesy. But I must say I really liked this book. Trollope, a distant relative of the esteemed author Anthony Trollope (long dead), writes engagingly and has a great sense of humor and irony, somewhat like Jane Austen. But another classic author comes to mind when reading this book: Gustave Fl ...more
Michelle
Young women today have access to feminist role models who help them challenge their life and career choices at earlier and earlier ages. When I read this book I was 31 and happy with my then-career choice, at home in a traditionally configured family raising two small children. I had made this choice after post-secondary education and with a plethora of options available to me. But I couldn't help wondering about the priest's wife in this book, Anna Bouverie, who was only beginning to question h ...more
Becky Dartnall
Jun 25, 2016 Becky Dartnall rated it liked it
A nuanced, sophisticated exploration of a woman at the crossroads: of her faith, her marriage to a Church of England rector, and her relationship with her children & village friendships. Moments of humor - based on the wry, but thoughtful observations of human nature by the author- helped lift it above the inevitable disappointments and mundane realities of married life, parenting dilemmas, the demands of "duty". I found it a compelling and fast read.
Donna
Feb 23, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it
This book reminded me of an old movie The Bishops Wife starring Loretta Young, and also the one starring Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington. The book was based in England and being unfamiliar with the Church of England and other phrases used in the book I had to think in our language. It was a very good book. Anna had a lot of hardships and a very domineering husband but it all ended to her advantage only through sadness.
Smitha
Nov 26, 2010 Smitha rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book though it took me more than two months, as I read it only during meal times, and then I was constantly misplacing it somewhere or the other. This is a really gripping story about a rector, who has become disillusioned with life, love and his duties and his lively wife, who wants to enjoy the little pleasures of life and who is striving to regain her husband's love and affection and is trying to change him from the pessimistic, passive man he has turned into ove ...more
Sue
Jan 25, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Rector's Wife' is one of the most thought-provoking and best-written of Joanna Trollope's books, in my view. It focusses on Anna who has been married for twenty years to Peter, an Anglican Vicar. She has been constantly supportive, and has mostly coped with raising the children, looking after the home, and entertaining - often at short notice - a variety of people. But she's beginning to feel trapped. She isn't always sure of her own faith, and she's quite certain that her purpose in life i ...more
Hazel
Jun 02, 2013 Hazel rated it did not like it
Well this novel was just "Blah". It reminded me a lot of The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling (see review Here). It was quite a dull story, full of dull characters that did not give me any enjoyment whatsoever! Why did I finish it then? Well, I kept thinking that there was going to be great, big twist that would make it worthwhile to read. Sadly, I got to the end without anything worthwhile happening.

I am also struggling to give a lot of praise to the author. Her style was also "Blah" and had no rea
...more
Jae
May 17, 2014 Jae rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
Liked this a lot - enjoyed all the petty battles between the rector's wife and the members of the hutch, as well as her husband, and the scandal of her going out to work. The ending was a bit too unbelievable for me but I enjoyed the details of her village life.
Tamara
Jan 03, 2014 Tamara rated it it was ok
Hmmm, thumbs down from me. I picked this book as a summer read after reading loads of positive reviews. I'm usually into heavier literature but with 3 small kids I wasn't keen to take on a booker prize-type book right now. I wanted a page turner and thought this would be it. Sadly I found this slow, dull and concerned with daily drudgery. It seemed dead obvious from the first few pages that her marriage was over yet it took the whole novel for her to realise. I also found the characters quite on ...more
Angela Montgomery
A little disappointing. I suppose it is a reasonable presentation of the frustrations of being a semi-housewife, but it seems ridiculous that wanting the outside stimulation of a job would be so shocking. I'm not sure when this was written. It reads like something from the 70s. The romance is also tepid and unbelievable. This is the 2nd modern British author (the other being P. D. James) where a protagonist claims he is in love with someone whom he has known (casually, not even dating) for 1-2 w ...more
Helen Schicketanz
Feb 22, 2016 Helen Schicketanz rated it liked it
I do like Joanna Trollope. She's not incredibly intellectual, but she is true to life. This one is not as good as The Men and the Girls, however, which may be her best ever.
Mel Tyers
Jan 22, 2015 Mel Tyers rated it really liked it
Read it years ago and having read several others since I remember it as her best. As for the much later "The Soldier's Wife", let's settle for a very different number of stars.
Michelle
The Rector's Wife

Joanna Trollope

Fiction

355 pages

copyright: 1991

isbn: 0-425-17055-1

Anna Bouverie is the rector's wife. She irons his surplices (badly), delivers the parish newsletter, and scrimps to get by on a pittance, all the while keeping up appearances. She rarely complains and rarely rebels. But now-as she watches her children do without, as her husband withdraws further into his work, and her frustration mounts into fury-Anna realizes that she's willing to do whatever it takes to save her
...more
Darlene
Jan 23, 2016 Darlene rated it it was amazing
Joanna Trollope put flesh on the gentle fiction of Jan Karon's Mitford series, as Anna struggles with subordination to her husband's vocation.
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Joanna Trollope Potter Curteis (aka Caroline Harvey)

Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather's rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trol
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