Sunday, April 17, 2011

Books: Home to Holly Springs

Home to Holly Springs
By Jan Karon
Read by Scott Sowers
Copyright 2001

Some years ago, a friend suggested I read Jan Karon's books. I looked at them several times but never felt like they were right for me. For one thing, they were a series known as the Mitford books. That meant I wanted to start at the beginning.

They also came across as a little "preachy" from the back covers. So I always put them back.

However, this book was billed as "The First of the Father Tim Novels," so I thought I would try it when I saw it in the library. At least it was at the beginning of a series, and since the character was a church leader I rather knew what to expect.

This sweet story surprised me. It is a story of going home after a long time away. Father Tim is a retired minister who decides to return to his boyhood home after he receives a mysterious note with only two words: Come Home.  He leaves his wife to her work as a children's book author and he and his dog head out.

Along the way he meets quite a number of characters, some young and therefore unknown to him, but also quite a few who remember him when he was a lad. A few of the chance encounters are a bit incredulous but I guess even ministers have miracles.

I liked that the book was interesting without being stressful. No one was being stabbed or murdered, there were no autopsies of dead bodies, and I had little fear that a main character was suddenly going to die. The book was not overtly religious (though there was a bit of that), and it did not preach too much (though it did a little). Given the lead character's profession, what was there seemed appropriate, usually. I can be quite put off by books that hit me over the head with their religion. This did not.

I won't hesitate to listen to a Jan Karon book again (though I still prefer to start at the beginning!).

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