Perhaps you remember Father Tim from the Mitford series by Jan Karon. Well, he is back in a new series appropriately entitled The Father Tim Novels. I just finished the first of the trilogy entitled Home to Holly Springs (the other two are not out yet), and thought I’d give my two cents via review.
Father Tim is now 70 years old and after receiving an enigmatic letter simply saying, “come home” he embarks on a visit to his birthplace, Holly Springs, Mississippi. As he encounters various people, streets, stores, and houses, memories come flooding back. Some are pleasant, some are painful. All the while, there is a huge surprise awaiting Father Tim that will be bitter sweet and potentially life-threatening.
I enjoyed this book for the most part. It was a very easy, relaxing read. That said, I didn’t like this novel as much as the Mitford books. It was heavier at times because Father Tim must deal with unresolved and painful issues regarding his father. It was also predictable. I figured out the big surprise pretty early on (don’t read the last page first if you want to be surprised). Then towards the end, so many “coincidences” occurred re-connecting Father Tim with various individuals, it got to be too much to believe.
Still, I love these books for their charm and simplicity. Jan Karon seems to capture the beauty of small town minutia. I will read the other two novels in the series because by now Father Tim is a friend…and I have to see what happens with Dooley and Lace!!