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In the Company of Others by Jan Karon
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Jul 15, 2011

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bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, jgrace, series, faith-philosophy, ireland, judithg, read-in-2011, relationships, women-writers, 21st-century, family-relationships
Read from July 15 to 16, 2011

In the Company of Others – Jan Karon
3 stars

Father Time and his artist wife, Cynthia, have finally embarked on the long promised trip to Ireland. The trip seems destined for disaster from the beginning. An escaping burglar causes Cynthia to injure her recently healed ankle, confining her to bed for the duration. Father Tim is drawn into the trials and trauma of their vacation lodge hosts. Following the pattern of the other books in the series, Father Tim, armed with faith and his Episcopal collar, helps troubled souls to peace with God.

Generally speaking, I do not like fictional books that preach. Somehow I feel that both the message and the story are watered down in a fictional world. It rarely works. This is Jan Karon’s eleventh book featuring Father Tim. Mostly, I’ve enjoyed these books. Father Tim does only what you would expect an ethical churchman to do. He is supposed to preach. The books have been predictable and pleasant with lovable characters. When her characters operate on their home base in the southern United States, Karon captures the dialect and the culture with a gentle humor. Her delightful characters carry the predictable stories.

Unfortunately, this book takes place in Ireland. Karon’s attempt at an Irish dialect is distracting. Most of the Irish characters lack warmth. The complex family relationships of these characters are never fully developed. It’s confusing. The historical book within a book seems superfluous and its connection to the contemporary theft is very contrived. I think Father Tim should go back to Mitford.


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