Just finished reading Jan Karon's latest edition to the Mitford Series, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good.
What a title! Say it out loud and let the words sink in. Doesn't it just give you a warm and fuzzy feeling? Those few words have depth and varying levels of application. Take some time and think on that title a little bit. As Father Tim says in the book, "Very useful thinking! Yes, indeed. We should all take to bed for a dose of useful thinking!"
Sorry! I'm so easily distracted.
If you have not picked up one of Jan Karon's Mitford books, and fallen in love with Father Tim and Cynthia, Dooley, Coot, Puny, Barnabas and the whole town of Mitford, then you have missed out on a wealth of love, laughter and life lessons. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good is the tenth book in the series based on the life and times of Father Tim Kavanagh in the small town of Mitford. Read one book and you'll want to live in Mitford and become one of its leading citizens.
In this latest book, retired Father Tim and his wife, Cynthia, have returned home from a trip to Ireland (The Father Tim Series: In the Company of Others) where he dives back into life in a small town: finding what's missing in his own life; his son, Dooley, wrestling with becoming a country vet and getting married; Dooley's brother, Sammy's rage and destructive behavior; and Hope Murphy, owner of Happy Endings bookstore, struggling with the possible loss of her unborn child and business. And the whole town deals with a question from the weekly newspaper, does Mitford still take care of its own?
It's not so much that this book follows a plot from beginning to end, because it doesn't. As the book jacket says, "...the chance to spend time in the often comic and utterly human presence of Jan Karon's characters. Indeed, they have never been more sympathetic, bighearted, and engaging." The characters come to life. You want to know them, be friends with them, care about what happens to them. Father Tim is an Episcopal priest, a bachelor for sixty years, falls in love with his next-door neighbor, adopts a lost boy, finds a brother he never knew existed, retires from the priesthood, and never stops caring and loving his town or it's people. Oh, did I tell you, his dog, Barnabas, adopted him and only responds to scripture? These stories will make you laugh and cry, and want to live life as a better person and long for a simpler time.
I would recommend you start with the first book of the series, At Home in Mitford. I'm collecting the hardback versions for my personal library. These are the books that you will read more than once.