Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In the Company of Others

In the Company of Others (Father Tim, #2)In the Company of Others by Jan Karon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Ms. Karon's Mitford books! They are good for the soul: uplifting without being smarmy, comforting without being cheesy. In this, the second of the "Father Tim" books (which take place outside of the village of Mitford), we find Tim and Cynthia on their long-awaited vacation to Ireland. The events in this book follow hard on the heels of the previous book (Home to Holly Springs) where Tim discovered he has a half-brother. This book continues the overarching theme of family - what it means to be a family, good and bad.

Tim & Cynthia are staying at a fishing lodge inn/B&B, run by a husband and wife, with their troubled teenage daughter. Tim & Cynthia become entangled in their extended and estranged family. We are treated to the usual loving and fun interactions between Tim & Cynthia, and also with the various guests in the lodge. As events transpire, there is a mystery that unfolds, but it isn't the main focus of the story. (And any regular reader of mysteries will 'figure it out' well before it's revealed in the book.) The focus, as always, is on people and the redemptive power of love.

I read that Ms. Karon likes this book the best, out of the series. But it's not my favorite. I think it's because a good part of the book is spent by Tim & Cynthia reading an old journal of one of the former owners of the place they're staying. The journal is written in the style of the 1860's, so it's kind of hard to read. It serves to echo the themes of family and redemption, but I was always impatient to get back to the "real" story of Tim & Cynthia. Still, it's always good to spend time with these characters, and I did enjoy this book, overall. And I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good!

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