Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Jan Karon Review and first FO

I just finished Jan Karon's novel Home to Holly Springs. This book is billed as "the first of the Father Tim novels," featuring Father Timothy Kavanaugh from the Mitford series in his life as a retired Episcopal priest. I truly enjoyed the Mitford series, which I read a few years ago, but I found this new book both inspirational and disappointing.

First of all, Father Tim's visit to his hometown after an absence of 40 years or so is skillfully handled. Through the use of flashbacks, the reader is drawn into the world of the South in the 1940s and 50s. Both the strengths and weaknesses of Southern society and of Father Tim's personal background are demonstrated by the actions of his family and others in the community. In the present, we are introduced to an interesting variety of characters.

Watching Father Tim confront his own emotions about his past and learning to forgive not just other people but himself for mistakes that have haunted his life is the central strength of this book--the universal problem that every person of a "certain age" has to deal with.

What is disappointing about the this book? The plot device that prompts Father Tim's return to Holly Springs is interesting, and the reactions of former friends and acquaintances that find out he is in town are enlightening. The denouement of the main plot line is satisfactory. However, the author adds a string of coincidences, attributed, of course, to Divine Providence, which I feel stretch plausibility and weaken the point of the novel. Since Father Tim obviously intends to return to Holly Springs, not every thread from the past had to be wrapped up neatly by the end of the book.

I'll be very interested to see where the next book in this series picks up.

My first FO of the new year--a pair of socks from Paton's Kroy, plain stockinette.

Paton's does not have the feel of the more expensive yarns when knitting, but after it is washed, it is wonderfully soft and wears like iron. This particular colorway--Krazy Stripes 54801--was made in Italy rather than Slovenia and seems softer. I used KP 1s, the bigger ones. My tension when knitting continental is getting more even, but I am still starting the ribbing English, and I am knitting the heel stitch continental and purling back English. The yarn is from a stash of Kroy that my DD gave me for Christmas. This color seemed a cheerful way to ring in the New Year!


Carrie said...

I just finished an irksome read that attempted to tie things up too neatly at the end too. Blows the whole book. Only Rowling can seem to pull that off, and that's because she intentionally left so much stuff hanging.

LizzieK8 said...

Have you read A Nun in the Closet by Dorothy Gilman? I wish there were more of them!

And I love the Carol Anne O'Marie mysteries!

Carrie said...

They didn't turn out as wild as I thought they might!

Just emailed you a link for "how to grow socks."