Friday, February 15, 2008

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

This remarkably popular best-selling series about Mitford is brand-new to me. It was a light diversion and a fun read. Every page that I read made me think of my grandma. This was the kind of book that I could have easily and happily passed on to her knowing that there would be nothing in there offensive or awkward for an 80 year old to read. It is currently sitting in my stack of books to pass on to my mom.
In case you aren't familiar with Jan Karon's books, the story revolves around the life of Father Tim, a middle-aged Episcopalian Minister in a small town. The trials and tribulations of small town life keep Father Tim terribly busy. But, his faith and his sense of humor keep things light and interesting.
As with many stories, At Home in Mitford has a few mysteries that have to be solved along the way to keep the reader reading. The mysteries are all innocent - in that they are written in a way that is not overtly graphic, nor are they uncovering horrific treatment of others. That is not to say that Karon's characters are all perfect and un-human. There are very real conflicts and realistic social problems that Karon grapples with throughout the story.
Much of the appeal of the story revolves around Karon's ability to interject humor into life. Her humor is not generally the laugh out loud type, it is more of the smile in recognition type. Barnabas, the dog who only responds to recitation of scripture is one of the greatest, and most humorous, characters in the book.
If you're looking for a book that could not offend anyone, that is enjoyable without being completely mindless, and that you could share with your grandmother, this is a great series to start.

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