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By: Jan Karon
Series: (Mitford Years #10)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: 09/02/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
Jan Karon is back, bringing lovers of the charming small mountain town of North Carolina and quirky characters (#10 in the Mitford Series) with cozy Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good –offering hope for the future.
Lovable, humble, and wise Father Tim Kavanagh reflects on the past, and looks forward to the future with his wife Cynthia, back in Mitford. After a few years into his retirement, following an emotional trip to his hometown in Ireland, where he discovered an unknown half- brother.
However, upon his arrival the entire village seems up be in unsettled with all sorts of problems. Even though Father Tim is glad to be back, something is missing, and he is undecided about his future.
Cynthia is a beloved author of children's books, and quite busy; however, Father Tim feels certain God will provide and offer him answers. He decides to turn down the bishop's request, to return to his old parish, after what has taken place in the past.
He decides to take on the job of operating the village bookstore, while the owner is on bed rest due to her pregnancy, while still raising money for the children’s hospital and continuing with his good deeds. Dooley Barlowe, his foster son, and the young man he raised as his own, is well on his way to becoming a veterinarian.
However, there are still siblings, with issues, like Dooley’s brother Sammy. 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?
The heartwarming novel is filled with the delightful characters from the previous Mitford novels: Ester Cunningham, the mayor; Fanny Skinner and her sister Shirlene; Harley and Hèléne; plus Dooley's brothers; Father Tim's special buddies, Mule, JC and Coot.
As a native of NC, only a few hours from Mitford (the fictional town, based on Blowing Rock, NC) is one I have visited many times. As always, when I read Jan Karon’s books, I think back to my times at this special place throughout my childhood. I am planning a trip next month for my fall fix with log cabin, reading, rocking chair, fireplace, and lots of hiking with beautiful waterfalls and scenery. I miss the days my son attended college in Banner Elk, NC and quaint B&Bs, shops, and skiing.
I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator offered an engaging performance; however, missed the town maps, as I always enjoy viewing in her print books.
Jan Karon has a special gift of creating lovable yet flawed characters, ordinary people, with problems and struggles and always includes an inspiring and a special takeaway which will readers remember long after the book ends.
I would recommend reading, even as a standalone, if you have not read Karon’s previous books; however, even more spectacular, if you have read the previous books to catch up with friends of Mitford!