Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good

This book is the tenth in the Mitford Series written by Jan Karon and published in 2014. The series are stories about Father Timothy Kavanagh. Early in the series, he marries Cynthia. They make a wonderful team. (Book 6 is a story about their wedding that takes place between books 2 and 3. Karon takes liberties like that. ☺)

I remember reading a review that a blogger wrote and I had to have this book having read all the previous ones. When it arrived, I set it aside because my eyes were giving me troubles — a two-year bout with polymyalgia rheumatica. In September, I pulled the book from the shelf and placed it by my pillow and began to read at bedtime. 




I found that reading at bedtime is very good for me, very relaxing. Often, I would wake a few hours later with the book beside me or on the floor and the light still on. I have probably enjoyed the best sleep I have had in years in the last few months; however, the author may not find this news necessarily flattering.

In addition to the relaxing qualities of reading at bedtime, I loved reading this book because it was taking place in the same season. It begins sometime in autumn and ends at Christmas. Perfect!

If you've read Karon's books, you know what a warm cast of characters she has created. Her style is conversational and cozy. I think I recognize each character from those "characters" in my own community. I suppose it's a classic case of "there's one in every crowd." Jan Karon has herself said that there are Mitfords all over.

Then for the quote collectors...there are so many pithy and thought-provoking ones. These are some of my favorite Father Tim quotes:
I can't say I have any confidence in confidence. I have confidence that God is with us in all things, both tender and tough.

Your goodness to me has been overwhelming. How tender you are, though I am often as tough as gristle. How patiently you have loved me since you made up your mind to love me always.  

When I speak of God’s will, it helps to know that he wants the best for us. If you can’t believe he’s there, pray anyway. If you feel he’s cheap and withholding, thank him anyway. There will come a time when you’ll thank him even for the hard places.

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know thee as thou art revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of thy love, amen 
 
As I understand it, Karon has retired Father Tim. The next book, Come Rain or Come Shine, moves on to Father Tim's adopted son Dooley. The perspective shifts from Father Tim to Dooley.  I won't be making the move. This is a good time to say goodbye (for now) to Father Tim and Cynthia. I don't want to shift my loyalties to anyone else. Dooley is not a large enough character for me to even feel inspired to make the transition. I hope that Karon never does Father Tim in. We need all the Father Tims we can find in this world. 
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53 comments:

  1. I've had this book on my bedside pile for a while now. I moved it nearer the top after reading your review :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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  2. Hi Vee,
    I too love all of the Father Tim books. Karon is excellent at telling relational stories. You might be missing something really special. I haven't been disappointed in her storytelling as of yet.
    I hope you reconsider, I'm looking forward to Dooley's relationships!
    Laurie

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  3. It sounds like a good read! Unfortunately I have too many books waiting to be read to consider taking on any more otherwise I would add this to my list. I am glad that it has helped you to relax and sleep well! xx

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  4. I'm glad you liked the book. Interesting that you won't follow Dooley. I wonder if he will become more of a character in the wedding book. Time will tell. Love that it gave you good sleep.

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  5. The Father Tim books are some of my all time favorites. This is one of those series that you wish could just go on and on and never end. I love the sweetness and gentleness of these books and the way they take me some place far away from the vulgarity of the world we live in. I will give Dooley a chance, just because I love Mitford, and Jan Karon's writing, so much.

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  6. Sad to say, I have not read those yet. Many Holiday Blessings to you and John, Vee.

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  7. Thank you for letting me know that she came out with another book last year. I had not heard. It's a wonderful series.

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  8. I love the Mitford series. I think I would like to introduce them to my husband who I am sure would love them. I didn't know about this latest book being a continuation, though. Now I have to read that one.

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  9. I finished reading this a few weeks ago. Really liked it. I love the Mitford series (though I have not cared at all for the "Father Tim" series -- Home to Holly Springs, and In the Company of Others). Having read those, which in my opinion are not Jan Karon's best writing (and there are those who violently disagree with me!), I wasn't sure what to expect from Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. But I loved it. You know, Brenda (from Coffee, Tea, Books and Me) has suggested in a post on Creating Places of Refuge for the Storms of Life that we return to old friends in the pages of familiar books as one of those refuge places. That inspired me and I have frequently returned to the dear old friends and environs of Mitford. Have you read Shepherds Abiding? A must read for me at Christmas time.

    I am going to give Dooley a chance and "Come Rain or Come Shine" is on my wish list. Might you reconsider? Remember, Miss Sadie believed in Dooley!

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    1. I may reconsider if someone does a review. I am currently reading Shepherds Abiding for the 4th time based on our friend Brenda's recommendation. I loved that the Nativity set was featured prominently in Somewhere Safe... as well.

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    2. Yes, you know I was thinking that Somewhere Safe.. in some ways ties up some loose ends from Shepherds Abiding. Things like Hope and Scott falling in love, and then in Somewhere Safe ... they are married and expecting a baby. In Shepherds Abiding, Hope has just bought Happy Endings, and in this book we see how her dreams for the bookstore have come to fruition. Just a few thoughts that came to mind. Now back to crafting...

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  10. So glad you posted this today. Remembering that I had picked up one of Jan Karon's books recently at the thrift shop, I just went to check on the title. Happily this is the one. I didn't realize it took place at this time of year. Perfect.. I'll be starting it tonight. I have read and enjoyed all of her books.
    I had to laugh at your relaxing reading times. How well I can relate to this. I've even been known to send the book flying off the bed as I'm nodding off.

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  11. I've read several of her books too and really enjoy the stories. Have a lovely day!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  12. I remember you recommended this series earlier. Many people have said it was a wondereful read. I always like a suspense and mystery, which have always drawn me to Poirot and Sherlock on Masterpiece. Hated to see Poirot retire, and Cumberbatch can't match up to Jeremy Brett in my idea of a good Sherlock. I know what you mean about not 'making the move'. That's how I felt about Downton Abby when they began to kill off the main stars. When Matthew went I knew it wouldn't get any better and gave it up. Of course that was my opinion and I hate long running series, and couldn't stand Mary.
    I too have trouble with sleep and keep a schedule, avoid caffeine and debates before bedtime. I get angry enough reading about them. Off to do something. Loved the quotes.

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    1. Murder and mayhem are not my thing, but I do like both Brett and Cumberbatch in their roles as Sherlock. Not watching Downton Abbey? Well there's just nothing I can say to that! LOL

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  13. This book was a Christmas gift last year. I so enjoy the Father Tim books. Dooley- I'm not so sure about his main character status. We'll see. I don't know if I'll make the leap or not.
    I'm reading the Christmassy bits of Winter Solstice these days, and I'm looking forward to re-reading Shepherds Abiding after FRIDAY - just two more sleeps! Yay for Christmas break!

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  14. I have this book and am about half-way through but then put it down to do.... something. I don't remember what. Should pick it back up.

    Moving on from Father Tim to Dooley? I didn't know that. Not sure what I think about that.

    The quotes you included are beautiful. Kinda needed them today. Thanks. Oh! By the way, I really like your header right now with the 3 photos and the cursive writing of your blog on the far right. Very nice. Tasteful.

    Shoveling out of 11 inches of White Christmas that came yesterday!

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  15. It took me a long time to finish this book. It was still a peaceful book to read. I do like the quotes you pulled out. Have a wonderful day Vee!

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  16. I really liked this book, too. I read it last year and passed it on to a friend I knew wanted to read it, who doesn't have a library near her. I've heard mixed reviews on the new book. I will wear it someday but there is no rush. Unlike her previous books!

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  17. Hehehe, obviously spellcheck thought it amusing to change read to wear!

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  18. now this sounds like a good book and especially if it will help me to fall asleep! Ha! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  19. I remember some of the Milford books years ago, but have not read one recently. I think I will go back and check them out on Kindle. I also like warm cozy, sincere stories and that you get when talking about faith. Blessings.

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  20. I enjoyed all of the books except the one in Ireland....just could not get into that one.

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  21. For years I've meant to read these books. Thank you for the review. Reading the series is still a goal.

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  22. I may have read one of her books a while ago. I guess this is another author I'll put on my reading list. I have read way fewer books this year than I normally do.

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  23. I must have missed this one! I love the Mitford series but didn't realize there was another one. I ordered a used copy and am looking forward to the cozy time curled up with a book and a cup of coffee.

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  24. Hey girl - just stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!

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  25. Love love the Mitford family. I plan to re-read, again in order, the entire series this Winter. So uplifting and I do find myself laughing out loud periodically! I hope the next book includes Father Tim as well as Dooley. I also have the Jan Karon "cookbook" with the recipes of all the cakes, ham, etc. from the books.
    Have you ever read any of Fanny Flagg's books? She has a way of inter-twining all of her characters, also. Every year I go back and read "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven". Her characters are wonderful.
    Have you begun the countdown to Downton yet? Can't wait!!!

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  26. Vee,

    I totally find that reading at bedtime is the same for me as it is for you. It simply relaxes me and transports me to a different world and stops that 'dialog' in my head that often keeps me awake.

    I've heard so many great things about Jan Karon's book. After buying our condo in Asheville a few years ago and writing about a trip to Blowing Rock, NC on my blog, I was told she lives there. And wow, that is heaven! The mountains are breathtaking. Are her books set in North Carolina? I'd like to start reading this series. I really love all of the quotes...the first is wonderful and the second to the last is very thought provoking. I lost my cousin two days ago and the grief process is just beginning. I know what I need to do, but reminders help.

    Happy Holidays, Vee,

    Jane x

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  27. I bought this book last spring at a used book sale, and still haven't read it. Maybe I can find some time soon, Reading before bed is a habit of mine, and helps me fall asleep. It has to be a gentle book though. This sounds like it will fit the bill.

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  28. Love her books and never want them to end.

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  29. I've read Come Rain or Come Shine, and it was OK. But it has a different feel than the early Mitford books. My favorite words from Father Tim are his wisdom about "the prayer that cannot fail"---"Thy will be done."

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  30. My husband and I have both read and loved this series. We even listen to the audio books when we travel. And we both read the newest book but didn't enjoy it nearly as much. There was just something so magical about Father Tim and his next door neighbor Cynthia...oh and Barnabus! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  31. I've always done most of my reading at bedtime. This sounds like a good series.

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  32. Love all of Jan Karon's books - and you will enjoy Dooley's wedding, too!
    Christmas blessings.

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  33. Sometimes publishers and over enthusiastic fans can push a thing too far. I enjoyed Somebody Good -- Miss Karon is a wonderful writer and so there's lots there to enjoy. But I was quite content to call it complete after the Irish book. The earliest books are still my favourites, including Shepherds Abiding. So I'm hoping I won't regret reading the last one. I don't want to think of Father Tim as done.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Vee!

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  34. I liked this book, and I've read the new one, and I liked it very much. Father Tim is in it, so is Cynthia, Harley, Dooley's siblings, Hal and Marge Owens, and many of the characters. I think it will be interesting to follow Dooley and Lace. I liked them very much in this book.

    I think those quotes you shared are wonderful!

    Deanna

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  35. Vee, I, too, love to read before I fall asleep. It will put me to sleep everytime! hehe.
    That was a great review on the book and I just thought, 'hey, Vee ought to visit our book club blog. Maybe she'd want to join and write reviews of what she reads'. Just a thought but if you want to, the link is on my blog list on 'Living Life On Main Street'.

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    1. Thank you for the invitation, Latane. I'm afraid that I am much more of a blog reader than a book reader these days. Reading one book in four months is not terribly impressive. Ha!

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  36. Oh... I forgot to tell you the name of the book club blog. duh and double duh... It's 'Springtime In Magnolia Book Club'.

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  37. Years ago I read a lot but now with all my crafting hobbies I don't read as much. I do read before I go to sleep. I got your first card today Vee. Strange how the second one you sent came before the first. Joan at www.aviewtothefells.com

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  38. I am intrigued by this author and the books you have read! Since my retirement last Spring I thought for sure I'd take up some reading at last - I just haven't "taken" the time I guess - perhaps the new year will inspire me to do so. Thanks for this review!

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  39. I was so enamoured by the Mitford series, Vee, and read every single one, but not this newest book. I will put it on my list to read after Christmas. Thanks for your review! Love and hugs, Kitty

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  40. I will have to get that book. I read the Mitford series and love it! So glad the Lord is blessing you with some good rest.

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  41. Vee,
    I have read all of the books..including the newest..Come Rain or Come Shine. I loved it. very sweet and just enough Father Tim and Cynthia to know they are not gone away.. I have not liked the Father Tim series. although I did like Somewhere Safe....oh well, it takes all kinds to read all kinds of books...Jan Karon is such a favorite author of mine. I do hope she keeps writing good books....
    Love, Mona

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  42. Hi Vee!

    I am an avid reader, and yes, I read in bed! When I drop my book, or start snoring, my husband will gently remind me that it's time to turn out the light . . . :0) I have read a few of Jan Karon's books and they are wonderful, warm and cozy, I just love them! Thanks for the review, I will have to check that one out at our little library.

    As for your last post - that was quite a poem! I tend to be a worrier, and have found that it gets me nowhere! I think it's interesting that the poem was written so long ago . . . isn't it funny that we haven't changed much in all those years! I try to leave the big stuff in God's hands, and try not to worry so much about the little things.

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  43. What a good review and contemplation on the book and the series ... I read the first four books and then lost touch , as my mother (who I shared book discussion with became ill and stopped reading for a good while). Perhaps, I need to set some later books in the series by for bleak midwinter ...

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  44. No reading happens at bedtime over here. Hence, not much reading happens over here. I go on vacation to read! I have only rad a few Jan Karon books...and have a few more here that still need reading. Glad you are able to read yourself to sleep these days!

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  45. Vee
    I just bought this book for my MIL for Christmas. I'm glad that I did now. I have read the whole Father Tim series, but didn't bother with the last one as it was rated low on Amazon as a disappointment. Now I will have to borrow it from my MIL to read!

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  46. The Mitford books were definitely a favourite of mine Vee. I haven't read the last 3 or so though. They are a lovely series with so much wisdom and humour. If I read in bed, I usually get in one page or sometimes only 2 paragraphs before my eyes get heavy so I close the book. "Someone" doesn't like it when I have the light on either so....the book is laid aside. :)

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  47. Hi Vee,

    I really enjoyed reading what you thought of this book. I so enjoyed it (I believe I read it last year, or early this year). Anyway, I enjoy being transported back to Mitford every chance I get. Her books are chock full of quotable passages, aren't they? You can tell Jan Karon has a close relationship with God.

    I'm sorry you've been experiencing eye problems. I've never given it much thought, but oh, that would be so hard for me. I hope you're doing much better now. Thank you so much for your visits and kind comments, Vee; they mean more than I can possibly say. My dad is doing some better, and I feel like all the prayers have really made a difference. I'm still trying to finish my Christmas preparations, but wanted to pay some visits to my dear blogging friends.

    I hope you have a joyous week, Vee. :)

    Hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  48. Thanks for the nudge...I've been needing a sweet and graceful story for now, and especially after just finish a book call The Indifferent Stars Above, a historical non-fiction based on the doomed Donner Pass party. It was far more gruesome than I had thought as the writer was quite good in phrasing scenes but once the party was trapped in 20 feet of snow; well it was unnerving to say the least.

    May I recommend a favorite book, also with a pastor as a main character that I found to be charming, laugh out loud funny and tear jerking? "Home to Harmony" by Philip Gulley.
    John will be asking you what is so funny...

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