This is the twelfth book in Jan Karon’s Mitford series. Like many, I have read them all and loved each one of them. In this novel, Father Tim and his wife Cynthia have returned to Mitford after a few years of serving other churches and a trip to Ireland. The town has not changed much, it still has the heart warming characters and wonderful main street, but the church Father Tim retired from is in trouble. Dooley is away at school but one of his younger brothers, Sammy, is having a terrible time growing up. Cynthia is busy working on another Violet book while struggling with her vision and Father Tim is trying to figure out his place in the world as a retired Episcopal Priest.
Karon continues to write beautifully, making the heart warm even in the toughest of times. Mitford is indeed idyllic and in my mind a Utopia for the 21st century. These books are food for the soul filled with lots of lessons from which all of us could learn. Lessons on what love looks like, what being a neighbor looks like, how being a citizen in community looks. Grieving for the dead, teaching the illiterate to read, and putting value on every life, even the criminal, comes to life in between the covers of these books. Don’t miss this opportunity to grow your heart.