Thursday, June 29, 2017

Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon

Today’s review is really a happy reminder.  About 20 years ago, when my family was in transit for a few months, I happened to discover Jan Karon’s Mitford series.  I spent that summer devouring the four (of nine) Mitford novels that had been published at that point:  At Home in Mitford, A Light in the Window, These High, Green Hills, and Out to Canaan.  Getting to know the village of Mitford and its dear Episcopal priest Father Tim Kavanagh became my refuge.  Many of you have followed Father Tim’s adventures—yes, a priest really can have adventures in a small North Carolina town in the mountains—as he helps, shares hope, and occasionally hides from friends and strangers.  In Mitford, friends have a way of becoming family, literally or figuratively, and strangers never remain strangers long, whether they are abandoned children, attractive authors, or addicted mothers.  But there’s more . . .
Here’s an invitation!  If you’ve accompanied Father Tim and Cynthia into retirement and explored Father Tim’s past in the Father Tim series, you know that Dooley has grown up fast (I feel like I’m talking about one of my own kids).  And now Dooley’s getting married!  Come Rain or Come Shine was published in 2015, when I had stopped following Karon’s series so avidly.  If you missed it, too, please come back to Mitford to join Dooley and his bride (no spoilers, in case you haven’t read this far) as they step together into the new life they—and Father Tim—have prepared for over many years. 

I sound like I’m addressing just people who already know who and what I’m talking about.  Well, as soon as you enter Mitford, that’s the way Jan Karon structures her stories:  a new chapter begins with “She would miss her lookout tower” or “He drove into Mitford in Dooley’s truck,” and we just know who we are looking or driving with.  If you are NOT yet familiar with the people of Mitford, you probably want to start at the beginning, At Home in Mitford.  Most of the books are available in a variety of formats--print, audio, and ebook so they can be accessible just about anywhere.  No matter where you take them, you’ll feel right at home if you enjoy Philip Gulley’s Harmony series, Debbie Macomber’s books, or just a good, cozy read about good friends.

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