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Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford Novel

Review

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford Novel

Father Tim Kavanagh has been busy.

Since his retirement from pastoring Lord’s Chapel in Mitford, he already has had a lifetime’s worth of experiences. He and his wife, Cynthia, traveled to Whitecap Island for his service as interim priest for the island’s church. Then, after receiving a mysterious summons from his childhood home, Holly Springs, he rediscovers a relationship he thought was gone forever (in the form of Peggy), as well as learning that he has a half-brother, Henry, whom he never knew existed. And if that weren’t enough (does this really sound like retirement to you?), Father Tim and Cynthia travel across the ocean to Ireland, ancestral home of the Kavanaghs, to find beauty, intrigue and restoration during their time in the Emerald Isle.

But now, they have returned to their --- and our --- beloved Mitford. And Father Tim begins the work of exploring what this new life of “retirement” actually means. As he reconnects with friends and companions both new and old, the Mitford Muse poses the former mayor’s motto in the form of a question: Does Mitford still take care of its own? 

"If, like me, you missed this delightful town and its residents, you won’t be disappointed in this newest segment of Father Tim’s life and adventures. Grab a cup of tea, a warm throw and your most comfortable armchair, and settle in for another rich tale of love, hope and relationships."

Fans of Jan Karon will be happy to recognize many of their favorite characters in Mitford. But for first-time readers, her cast introductions flow smoothly and beautifully as well. Cynthia is still writing and painting books about Violet the cat. Barnabas, the best dog ever, still resides happily in the Kavanaghs’ home --- older, grayer and slower, but faithful and true as always. The Turkey Club has had to find a new place to eat with Percy’s retirement, but Father Tim, Mule Skinner and J.C. Hogan still meet to eat and shoot the bull, now at Wanda’s Feel Good Café. Andrew Gregory is currently the mayor of Mitford, but Esther Cunningham, full of vim and vigor, is considering a run for the position again. And Father Tim’s boy, Dooley, is at college and navigating a friendship --- and a promise --- with Lace Harper long-distance.

But Father Tim finds that for a longtime and beloved priest, retirement has its own fulfilling work, as the people and the town he loves experience heartache and challenges. Hope’s pregnancy brings fears of devastating loss --- not only for herself but also for her livelihood, Happy Endings Bookstore. Lord’s Chapel prepares to experience loss of another kind. Does Father Tim want to return to the official priesthood? Dooley’s brother Sammy’s deep wounding causes him to lash out at those around him. Can Father Tim help Sammy find the road to healing? 

In SOMEWHERE SAFE WITH SOMEBODY GOOD, Father Tim learns that retirement carries its own joy and fulfillment, as he serves those he loves. Whether it’s a love letter to his bride, extending grace to a destructive young man, or realizing a new contentment as a bookseller, the former priest’s life is still full. And Mitford does still take care of its own!

This installment carries the familiar joy that millions of readers have found in her other novels. In some ways, Mitford and the books that bring the town to life are havens of warmth and security --- a lovely, rich and cozy place where we find fellowship, companionship and a home. SOMEWHERE SAFE WITH SOMEBODY GOOD is not just the hope of one of the book’s beloved characters; it’s what we discover ourselves as we enter Karon’s latest tale about Mitford. If, like me, you missed this delightful town and its residents, you won’t be disappointed in this newest segment of Father Tim’s life and adventures.

Grab a cup of tea, a warm throw and your most comfortable armchair, and settle in for another rich tale of love, hope and relationships.

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on September 5, 2014

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford Novel
by Jan Karon

  • Publication Date: September 2, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0399167447
  • ISBN-13: 9780399167447