The village of Mitford is soothing tonic for a readership that feels starved for community and yearns for clear morals. The recently married Father Tim and his plain-folk neighbors live the best of Christianity in everyday life. Even the rampant gossip in Mitford is the good kind: folks worrying about other folks and everyone minding one another's business out of concern rather than malice. As a result, no one faces a crisis alone. Often the crises are cause for a belly laugh, such as the rectory's new computer system that seems programmed to torment. But just as often the crises have the bite of real-life problems, such as the bloody young girl in shredded clothes, whom Father Tim finds after she was beaten by her drunken father, and the soul-wrenching despair Father Tim feels when he loses a surrogate mother. The heavily quoted scripture gives a day-to-day context for biblical teachings as well as spiritual solace during the sadder days at Mitford. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
This third in the Mitford series (At Home in Mitford?a 1996 ABBY Book of the Year finalist?and Light in the Window) is another sympathetic portrayal of small-town Southern life with just enough drama to carry the plot and gracefully developed portraits of endearing characters. Allusions to past events and cameos by peripheral characters will delight the fan but may frustrate the reader new to Karon's work. Mitford is a Southeastern mountain town where everyone turns out for benefactress Sadie Baxter's birthday, where the police chief gives copies of Southern Living to inmates?and where social trouble brews in a hillbilly enclave across the creek. Episcopal minister Timothy Kavanagh of Lord's Chapel is the pivotal character. A lifelong bachelor adjusting to marriage for the first time at 63, he has no perspective on his faith and future until he and his new wife, Cynthia, are lost?and found?in a cave on a youth-group camping trip. Most compelling in Timothy's affectionately drawn flock are the young people. Thirteen-year-old Dooley Barlowe was abandoned at the rectory and now struggles to adjust to Timothy's Pygmalion efforts; Lacey Turner, also 13, is saved from her father's abuse as much by Timothy as by social services. Like glass chips tumbling in a kaleidoscope, the people at Mitford fall neatly into place at story's end, having provided a cozy and satisfying read. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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