About the book (from the publisher): After five hectic years of retirement from Lord’s Chapel, Father Tim Kavanaugh returns with his wife, Cynthia, from a so-called pleasure trip to the land of his Irish ancestors.
While glad to be at home in Mitford, something is definitely missing: a pulpit. But when he’s offered one, he decides he doesn’t want it. Maybe he’s lost his passion.
His adopted son, Dooley, wrestles with his own passion – for the beautiful and gifted Lace Turner, and his vision to become a successful country vet. Dooley’s brother, Sammy, still enraged by his mother’s abandonment, destroy’s one of Father Tim’s prized possessions. And Hope Murphy, owner of the Happy Endings bookstore, struggles with the potential loss of her unborn child and her hard-won business.
All this as Wanda’s Feel Good Café opens, a romance catches fire through an Internet word game, their former mayor hatches a reelection campaign to throw the bums out, and the weekly Muse poses a probing inquiry, Does Mitford still take care of its own?
My review: Aaaah. That’s me sighing with pleasure. What a pleasure it is to have Jan Karon and Father Tim and Mitford back in this new novel. For those of you unfamiliar with this series, Karon has written several novels centering around the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina and Father Tim Kavanaugh, an Episcopal priest. They are well-loved by legions of readers.
I’ve read most of them, save for the two Father Tim novels, and I plan to remedy that. This one, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, is a delight from start to finish. Karon is an enormously gifted writer. She has created this small town of Mitford, full of wonderful, sometimes eccentric, characters, in vivid detail. Over the course of these novels, we’ve come to know and love the inhabitants of Mitford. They aren’t perfect. They’re opinionated. They struggle. They face sorrow and loss and pain. But they are indomitable.
You’ve read the synopsis of the plot by the publisher. We find Father Tim at loose ends, looking for a purpose, a direction, at this stage in his life. And from there, the plot takes off. Karon juggles the many plates of the plot beautifully. There are several stories going on, all centering on Mitford inhabitants – old and new – and she weaves them together in a simply lovely, seemingly effortless, way.
Through it all, you’ll find yourself cheering on Father Tim, Cynthia, Dooley, Hope, Esther, and a host of other characters. You’ll be immersed in the world of Mitford, one which is full of humor and pathos and, yes, sentimentality (in the best possible way.) I love Karon’s use of gentle humor, which permeates each and every book. The ability to look at oneself and others in the midst of the daily pressures of life and find humor and joy is a gift. And it’s a gift Karon has given us.
I didn’t want it to end. And perhaps the best tribute of all: I want to go back and reread all of the Mitford novels again. I’d forgotten about that world and I am so grateful to Jan Karon for bringing it back to us in this wonderfully written and fully realized novel.
Read it. We all need to escape to Mitford. Truly.
About the author: Jan Karon is the author of the bestselling series of nine Mitford novels featuring Father Timothy Kavanaugh, an Episcopal priest, and the fictional village of Mitford. Set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karon’s Mitford books include: At Home in Mitford; A Light in the Window; These High, Green Hills; Out to Canaan; A New Song; A Common Life: The Wedding Story; In This Mountain; Shepherd’s Abiding; and Light from Heaven. The Father Tim novels include Home to Holly Springs and last fall’s release of In the Company of Others set in County Sligo, Ireland. There are over 40 million Mitford and Father Tim novels, childrens books and CDs in print.
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I checked out this book from the Hartford Public Library.