January 04, 2004

Shepherds Abiding, by Jan Karon

Mitford stories are always great fun. I always feel just happy after finishing one and I've looked forward to a quiet afternoon to read this book for a time.

This time around, it's October and Father Tim has come across a dilapidated old plaster nativity scene that the antiques store owner has brought back from England with him. He's bored with retirement and his book of essays is not going well. The crèche reminds him of his childhood Christmases and, on the spur of the moment, he decides to buy it and fix it up for Cynthia as a Christmas gift. The book is the story of how he goes about it, how the townsfolk help and hinder him and how he keeps the secret from Cynthia.

It's a good story though perhaps not as tight as some others she has written. It could have been either a well-written short story with some of the extras cut out or a more developed novel with a bit more tension and detail but on the whole I enjoyed it. It's always fun to go back to Mitford, visit some of the old haunts and find out what everyone is doing lately. She does hint of the next book and where that one may take place too.

Posted by Deb English at January 4, 2004 02:42 PM