Potentially, this could be the shortest book review ever. All I REALLY would have to say is that there is a new Mitford book by author Jan Karon entitled Come Rain or Come Shine. Boom. Everyone can correctly assume that I loved the book.
The fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina, makes me happy. I am fully aware that such a wonderful community where everyone gets along and loves one another doesn’t exist. Still, isn’t it so nice to read about something like the friendly folks of Mitford instead of about pain, and murder, and bickering, and poverty, and the horrors of the real world, especially during this time of the year?
In Come Rain or Come Shine, Dooley – who we met in Karon’s first Mitford novel At Home in Mitford – has graduated from veterinarian’s school, set up a practice and is finally getting married to his long-time girlfriend Lace (who we also met in the first novel). Typical for the young couple, they want to make their wedding simple and inexpensive, and to include all of the people they love. They decide, then, to make it a pot luck affair to be held at the ranch where they will reside after they are married.
Since nothing ever goes entirely as planned in Mitford (or in real life), the novel offers a series of surprises and unexpected joys. While Dooley and Lace have to be flexible with their plans and the wedding doesn’t go as smoothly as one would hope, Karon’s story gives us a full picture of love – the love of friends and the love for and of God. The amazing and vivid trust that the people of this town have in God’s provides for a joyful read.
And let’s not forget the wonderful food that is always a part of Mitford – and Karon’s wonderful stories.
Come Rain or Come Shine was written a bit differently than Karon’s previous novels. The point of view changed with each chapter. Being an avid Mitford fan, I was able to recognize whose point of view was being presented in each chapter. However, I would think that if someone picked up the novel without having read Karon’s previous works, it might have taken some time to recognize the point of view. If I have any criticism, that is it.
One of the best parts of the novel, I felt, was getting to know Lace a bit better. While she has been part of the Mitford series from the beginning, she has never played a major role. I enjoyed learning more about who she is and how she thinks.
This is a grand book for someone wanting to read a happy story during this time of year. I strongly recommend it.