A Break from the Chaos

As we head into the holiday season with all the shopping, decorating, cooking and baking, life can get a bit (or very!) chaotic. What better at the end of a long day than to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a nice, relaxing book?

I recently completed Jan Karon’s latest volume, To Be Where You Are, book 14 in the Mitford series. If you haven’t read any of these yet, I highly recommend you start at the beginning with At Home in Mitford. Mitford is a small fictional town set in North Carolina. From the series’ beginning, Father Tim Kavanagh has been its main protagonist, an Episcopal priest (what we in Canada would call Anglican), whose goal is to serve both God and the flock he’s been given to shepherd. And what a peculiar flock it is!

If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll know that Mitford’s inhabitants face many of the same challenges we do. In the current book Father Tim tries to find his place post-retirement, his adopted son Dooley struggles with the financial aspects of his new veterinary business, Dooley and Lacey parent their adopted child Jack, Dooley’s natural mother strives to right the wrongs of her own parenting. What sets these stories apart from ours are the bucolic environment and Karon’s writing style, which is charming, entertaining, and ultimately gratifying.

To Be Where You Are begins on October 1st and apart from a brief postlude the following June 2nd, wraps up on December 25th. It’s a wonderful book to tuck under your arm and delve into as we head into the winter season.

Done Mitford? Try these cozy series/reads:

The Butternut Creek series beginning with:


The Harmony Series, beginning with:


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion:


And books by Maeve Binchy, Jennifer Chiaverini, Robin Jones Gunn and Miss Read.

-Susan B.