On this first Sunday of Advent, 2011, I decided to listen once again to SHEPHERDS ABIDING. Actually I have heard it every year during the Christmas season since its 2005 release.
The publisher's blurb sets the scene: "Since he was a boy growing up in Mississippi, Father Tim has lived what he calls 'the life of the mind.' But then he finds a derelect nativity scence that has suffered the indignities of time and neglect. Can he give ths small assemly new life, restore the camel's ear, repaint every piece? Imagining the excitement in the eyes of his wife, Cynthia, he steps up to the plate, beginning a small journey of faith that reaches every one around him."
The good people of Mitford help, of course, many in unexpected ways. When you listen, you will know what I mean. Dooley is put on camel detail, however, and he does not help as he should have. Out of character for him.
Please do listen. One of Karon's favorite choirs sings. And, one of my favorite narrators, John McDonough, reads.
If you have not read the MITFORD series, start at the beginning with: AT HOME IN MITFORD. Follow it with book two: A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW. Then move to book six: A COMMON LIFE: THE WEDDING STORY. It is the story of the wedding of Father Tim and his Cynthia. And SHEPHERDS ABIDING is the continuation of that story of love.
There are nine books in the Mitford sereis. I hope there will be more. Karon has written two books in the Father Tim series as well.
Other authors have been praised as another Jan Karon. Patrick Taylor and his country doctor series, for example, and Gail Fraser and her Lumby series. Do not be fooled. Simply enjoy Karon and hope she continues to write for us. thank you.