Sunday, January 18, 2009

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon

I am a big fan of Jan Karon's Mitford series. They center around a fictional town called "Mitford" and the local Episcopalian priest, Father Tim. They are populated with quirky small town characters that you get to know and come to love, and you look forward to visiting because a trip to Mitford is always good for the soul. But it has been said that the main character of the novels is not Father Tim, or Mitford itself, but Jesus Christ (as faith seems to permeate the life of her characters). Jan Karon is comfortable with that characterization. She has said that God led her to write the books, because on her own she would never have considered writing about a balding, pudgy, sixty-something cleric.

A major theme of the Mitford novels was Father Tim's impending retirement. He wrestled with the decision to retire and wondered what retirement would hold for him. This book is the first in her new series to be called "The Father Tim novels".

Father Tim receives an unsigned note from his hometown in Mississippi. It contains two words--Come home. After more than 38 years away, he does just that, he goes home. He and his faithful dog Barnabus pile into his mustang convertible with the top down and head to the home of his childhood Holly Springs, Mississippi. Father Tim thinks Thomas Wolfe was probably right in saying you can't go home again, but when he gets there he finds a surprising number of old connections have survived his time away. So begins a journey of discovery for Father Tim. He comes face to face with family secrets and relives memories with childhood friends and family. Jan Karon has written a bewitching and captivating book that is poignant and laced with wisdom and a generous dollop of forgiveness. I truly loved this book.


Pen N. Hand said...

I'm looking forward to book club with this book. I read it when it first came out and loved it.

D Wright said...

Jan Karon invites you to visit her website at I know you will enjoy the site!

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