Monday, July 16, 2012

The Sunday Book Review, July 15, 2012: The Mitford Series and Father Tim (Jan Karon)

Madame L apologizes for again posting the Sunday Book Review on Monday. Madame L has considered changing the Sunday Book Review to the Monday Book Review, but you know what would happen if she did that: She would start posting the Monday Book Review on Tuesday.

Madame L just finished reading "Home to Holly Springs," which ties together the Mitford books and Father Tim's life story very nicely, and she recommends this book as one of the best she has ever read. In fact, instead of reading Dickens or Salinger or the Harry Potter series any of the classic authors, Madame L would love to read all of these books again, in a series.

Jan Karon said in an interview that she would never have written about Father Tim, "a balding, pudgy, sixty-something cleric," on her own; the inspiration came from God; and, in fact, the books seem to be more about Christ Himself --- or about how to live a Christ-like life --- than any thing else. 

Into Father Tim's life comes a huge dog, Barnabas, and a son, Dooley. Later come Dooley's brothers and sisters, and a wife. (And if you want to think about living a Christ-like life, think about having a full-size pool table put in your living room because that's what is needed to keep one of Dooley's brothers out of trouble.)

Madame L realizes that not everyone likes this kind of writing; there were times in her own life when she might not have liked it. It's full of love and kindness and sayings from the Bible. Not that there's no conflict --- there's plenty of that --- but it's resolved, as all of our life's conflicts should be, by love, patience, and time.

So, when the 70-something Father Tim goes home to Holly Springs, he finally sees resolved some of those conflicts that have been simmering ever since he was a boy, which is, after all, how long it takes for some conflicts to be resolved.

Here are the books from the Mitford series:
  • 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
  • Shepherds Abiding
  • Light From Heaven
Here's the Wikipedia entry on Jan Karon, with more information about the author and her books, and here's the author's own official website.

All the book are available at, of course, for varying prices; and they should all be available at your local library, too. Check 'em out!

1 comment:

LFP said...

The Mitford series is one of my favorite series. Yes, it can be somewhat cavity-inducing in its sweetness, but why can't we have a little more kindness and goodness in the world? I like 'em.