Come Rain or Come Shine

Come Rain or Come Shine (Mitford Years, #13)Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Family – that says it all. The minute I heard John McDonough’s voice I was back in Mitford with all of these special people. But other than that, the preachiness was a little over the top, and the plot was pretty slim compared to the earlier books. Lots of reminiscing by the characters, so if you’ve read the other Mitford books, you’ll be nodding your head – “oh yeah – I remember that….” And that’s pretty much all it is – a wedding that brings all the familiar characters together and gives them a chance to reflect on how they got where they are – all thanks to God, of course.

Book description: Over the course of twelve Mitford novels, fans have kept a special place in their hearts for Dooley Kavanagh, first seen in At Home in Mitford as a barefoot, freckle-faced boy in filthy overalls. Now, Father Tim Kavanagh’s adopted son has graduated from vet school and opened his own animal clinic. Since money will be tight for a while, maybe he and Lace Harper, his once and future soul mate, should keep their wedding simple. So the plan is to eliminate the cost of catering and do potluck. Ought to be fun. An old friend offers to bring his well-known country band. Gratis. And once mucked out, the barn works as a perfect venue for seating family and friends. Piece of cake, right?

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Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford NovelSomewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford Novel by Jan Karon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m giving this 4 stars, but only because it’s an opportunity to revisit a beloved place, and old familiar characters. If you haven’t read the other Mitford novels, you may want to start at the beginning. This book is a bit rambling and doesn’t really go anywhere in particular. No crises to overcome, no dramatic conversions, no big miracles – just catching up with our characters as they get on with life in a small town, where people DO take care of each other, and where prayer is the solution to everything. This is Mayberry RFD for the 21st century. I especially enjoyed the thread of Father Tim working at the bookstore. Not all is resolved in the end, so I’m sure there will be more books to come.

Book description: After five hectic years of retirement from Lord’s Chapel, Father Tim Kavanagh 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, destroys one of Father Tim’s prized possessions. And Hope Murphy, owner of 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?

In the Company of Others

In the Company of Others: A Father Tim NovelIn the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel by Jan Karon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I Have really enjoyed Jan Karon’s books for her interesting characters, uplifting message, and sense of fun and humor. I especially enjoyed the first Father Tim novel, which seemed to be a bit edgier than the previous Mitford series. This book was a bit disappointing to me. I expected much more from a book set in Ireland. Except for the attempt at local dialect (which I listened to as an audiobook) there was nothing much Irish about the setting, or representative of the culture. While the characters were interesting, and the humor was there, it was difficult to sort out who was who and how they were all related. I also found this book’s message bordering on proselytizing which got tiresome. And the last minute change of heart of deeply embittered and wounded characters was just not believable.

Audio version read by Erik Singer. Description from back of box: Father Time and Cynthia arrive in the west of Ireland, intent on researching his Kavanagh ancestry from the comfort of a charming fishing lodge. The charm, however, is broken entirely when Cynthia startles a burglar and sprains her already injured ankle. Then a cherished and valuable painting is stolen from the lodge owners, and Cynthia’s pain pales in comparison to the wound at the center of this bitterly estranged Irish family.