Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Light From Heaven by Jan Karon | Book Review

Talk about your book hangover!  Light From Heaven is the final-for-now Mitford book and it's a doozy.  It probably doesn't help that I spent all summer re-reading all nine Mitford books nearly back-to-back.  I just don't think I'm ready to leave Mitford yet.  Thank goodness the brand-new 10th book is coming out in less than one month!

Continuing in the same vein as my previous Mitford "reviews," this will actually be more of a review.  Spoilers galore.  But the aim is to get us all caught up in time for the release of Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good!

Light From Heaven covers the year that Father Tim and Cynthia spend farm-sitting at Meadowgate.  They're going to relax; take long rambles in the fields and woods, right?  NOPE.  Come on... we know these characters better than that!  Bishop Cullen installs Father Tim as the vicar of a tiny mountain church that's been closed for 40 years.  And Cynthia decides to do a calendar of Violet at the farm.  In between all this, they've still got Dooley on school holidays (he's in vet school at the University of Georgia), and he's ready to be formally adopted by Father Tim & Cynthia.  Dr. Dooley Kavanagh!  Has a great ring, doesn't it?  And Dooley is seeing Lace.  And miracles of miracles, Sammy leaves his dad and comes to stay at Meadowgate.  A full house!

The reader doesn't get much Mitford in this book.  Father Tim ducks in and out of town a few times on errands, but there's not much character development there.  Instead, the action focuses on the little homesteads clinging to the mountainside up past Meadowgate.  Oh, how I want to visit Holy Trinity!  Jan Karon based Mitford on Blowing Rock, NC; I wonder if there is a true-life "Holy Trinity."  I wonder if it's not modeled on Pretty Place, a little chapel in the mountains near where I grew up.  The book describes it as sitting on a ridge overlooking miles and miles and miles of scenery.  Father Tim makes it a regular habit to celebrate Communion outside the church, on the low stone wall overlooking God's creation.  There are only about two dozen folks who make up the main congregation there, and they are characters!  I love them.  And it turns out that a deaconess named Miss Agnes and her adult son Clarence have been taking care of the physical church for all these years, so there aren't any major repairs that need doing.  Things are quite a bit harder up on the mountain, but the people there are absolutely just as loveable as the characters we left behind in Mitford.

And the afterword in the book!  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  KENNY.  Ms. Karon, howwwwww can you leave me hanging like that????  

So now I'm going to be as impatient as can be waiting for Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good.

*I own my copy of Light From Heaven.

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