As if being a priest in this day and age isn't difficult enough, try shepherding two parishes, located hundreds of miles apart, at the same time. A predicament of biblical proportions indeed, but one the indomitable Father Tim Kavanaugh and his cheerful wife, Cynthia, can handle, with a little help from the Lord--not to mention their friends--in Jan Karon's A New Song
, the fifth installment in her much-loved Mitford series. When asked to act as interim minister for a tiny island parish in North Carolina's Outer Banks, the recently retired Father heeds the call, all the while trusting in a divine master plan: "He had prayed that God would send him wherever He pleased, and when his bishop presented the idea of Whitecap, he knew it wasn't his bishop's bright idea at all, but God's."
From the more routine duties of settling into a new church to dealing with a number of deeper domestic issues--including a single mother's spiral into depression and a reclusive next door neighbor in need of kindness--Father Tim's new parish presents a welcome challenge. All the while, of course, the folks back home keep him informed of goings-on in Mitford--the biggest being the recent arrest of Dooley Barlowe, a mountain boy whom Father Tim had taken into his home and heart five years earlier. As in past Mitford episodes, things have a way of working themselves out, but not before Father Tim and his accompanying cast learn a few more valuable lessons about life. Full of the homey atmosphere and heartwarming truths--not to mention the endearingly quirky characters--that are Karon's trademark, A New Song is a delightful celebration of the communal ties that bind. --Stefanie Hargreaves
From Publishers Weekly
Karon reads the fifth installment of her popular Mitford series with gentle authority, nimble in her Southern enunciation and the depiction of colorful local characters (the four previous titles are available on tape, with the author at the microphone). She is very good at establishing mood, eliciting the nuances of time and place in the life of Father Tim Kavanagh, the recently retired Episcopal minister of this postcard-perfect North Carolina small town. He and Cynthia, his devoted wife, are moving to the coastal island of Whitecap for a year, where he is to preside as interim minister at a small church. Kavanagh is acutely sensitive to the "upheaval" of the "tearing up and nailing down" required by the temporary move. He feels homesick and is nagged with fear, especially as he learns that his adopted teenage son, Dooley, has landed in jail back home. And that's just the beginning of his troubles. Because Kavanagh's life unfolds episodicallyAand always in unexpected waysAit translates especially keenly as audio drama. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover. (Apr.)
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