Madame L had to force herself to read this book in tiny bits, but not because she wasn't enjoying it. Unlike the books of Dickens and other Nineteenth-Century novelists, which Madame L has to force herself to finish, the Father Tim books by Jan Karon make Madame L want to keep reading and reading. She hates to get to the end of each book, so she parcels it out so she can enjoy it longer.
Father Tim and his artist wife go for a long-anticipated vacation in Ireland where they don't really get much of a vacation. Having a masked stranger jump out of the closet on the first night of their stay is just the opening salvo of a series of devastating events for the family that runs the little in where they're staying.
But, as happens in every fictional family in every nook and cranny of every country in the world, the tip of the iceberg is nothing compared to the mistakes and follies of their past which sustain that surface appearance.
And Father Tim is just the man, and Cynthia is just the woman, to help the family members who are grieving over their past mistakes and trying to keep their lives from turning into total disasters. Because in spite of their being "Dq##ED Protestants," they know how to listen and pray.
The Father Tim stories aren't generally categorized as mysteries, and they're certainly not murder mysteries, but they have this in common with mysteries and all the books most of us love to read: they probe into the mysteries of the human heart.
Madame L snapped up "In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel" when she found it by accident, in a grocery store book-sale bin. If she'd known of its existence, she would have checked it out from her local library, her new go-to place for recreational reading. It's available for $10.88, new, at Amazon.com, and as little as one cent for a used copy.
Madame L encourages all her Dear Readers who like a good read without cursing, vulgarity, and high body-counts and who don't mind a few scriptural quotations to go to their library to pick up the very first book of the Father Tim series, "At Home In Mitford" (or buy it used from Amazon.com for one penny).