01/02/2006

A New Song

Sixth in the Mitford series by Jan Karon. Father Tim Kavanagh has finally retired from being a full-time priest, and takes an interim assignment on the island of Whitecap. He and Cynthia, along with their dog Barnabas and cat Violet, spend a great deal of time preparing to move, have a rather traumatic journey and arrival, and then gradually settle in to a new parish. As ever, there are petty squabbles within the congregation as well as some more serious problems, and during the year they have to deal with extreme weather conditions they have not previously experienced.

Inevitably there are lots of new characters as well as familiar ones from Mitford, but they're introduced gradually and are mostly memorable and interesting. Cynthia's heart is captured by three-year-old Jonathan, whose mother is in hospital; Tim employs an excellent new organist, and slowly gets to know his grumpy neighbour Morris, who has an unusual affliction.

It was good to have a foray outside Mitford while reading this series straight through, although the first time I read it I can remember not liking it as much as the previous novels in the series. This time, I found it an enjoyable sequel. Not really recommended to anyone who hasn't read the previous books in the series, starting with 'At Home in Mitford' but anyone who's enjoyed the rest of the series should certainly read this one.

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