August 30, 2010
In Karon's latest, Fr. Timothy Kavanagh, the moral center of the beloved Mitford series, hops the Atlantic for a long anticipated vacation in the Irish countryside. He and his wife settle in at Broughadoon, a B&B run by Liam and Anna Conor in County Sligo, and Father Tim is happy to be reacquainted with his ancestral homeland. He's particularly taken with Catharmore, a sprawling 19th-century estate that was Liam's childhood home. When their stay is extended because of an injury, the Kavanaghs pass the time reading up on Catharmore's history, helping out around the grounds, and getting to know the area's many colorful characters. Father Tim assumes the role of confidant and adviser to the Conors and their extended family, investigating a burglary, helping unburden Liam and Anna of long-held secrets, and aiding Liam's alcoholic mother to recover her lost faith. Karon's prose trundles along at a languid pace, but her heartfelt dialogue and rich characterizations keep the story engaging. Though it's not the ideal entry point to the expansive world of Father Tim, fans will relish this new chapter in his life.