CBR14Bingo: Holiday (lots of holidays in this book)
Another clearly beloved British children’s classic that I missed as a kid. A Vicarage Family is about (shockingly) a vicar’s family. More specifically it follows Vicky, the stand-in for Streatfeild, as she grows up during the Edwardian era. Isobel is artistic, Louise is pretty, Dick is the baby, and their cousin John is smart, but Vicky is always getting in trouble and doesn’t excel at anything. Her own strong sense of being wronged lead to her constantly being punished for things that feel very unfair to her, like standing up to a teacher. That leads to her being expelled from school, and the family then moves to a new parish, where Vicky has a chance of a fresh start.
This book is focused firmly on family life and the dynamics between its members, which I enjoyed. The one downside is that it is a big enough family that some members get lost in the narrative (like Dick, who is barely in the book). It’s a nice read but also bit of a thin one in terms of depth. Streatfeild is very good at getting across how Vicky is feeling since she is Vicky, but I also wanted to know what happened to Isobel and Louise in the long term. We know that Vicky ended up being an author, but her sisters are an unknown beyond the end of the book. However, the ending surprised me with its power and I nearly cried on the train, so bumped up to three stars.