I spent three blissful hours this afternoon reading a lovely book that I can recommend to just about anyone. If you are a fan of Jan Karon's books about the fictional town of Mitford and Father Tim, you will especially love this book. I've read the first three books from the Mitford series - there are nine total. The books are gentle and interesting, with little beams of light from Father Tim's preaching sprinkled throughout. How nice to read books that make you smile instead of squirm.
Return to Holly Springs is the first in a new series by Karon called "The Father Tim Novels." It's about Father Tim's background, where he came from and what shaped his life. It's a combination mystery, history, and feel-good book. The writing is classic Karon - with touches of humor and a great lens on human nature.
Jan Karon's website is worth visiting just to listen to the beautiful music she has playing in the background.
Here is a question from an interview with Jan Karon that I think is good and wise philosophy:
At the end of your life, when you look back on your writing career, how will you understand "success"? What fruits will you look for to determine if you have "succeeded" as a writer?
While antiquing along Virginia's famed Route 11, I found a sampler. It says, "Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." Happiness is what I look for as a first fruit of success, which, as you know, is a thorn all its own.