It's fall, so it's once again time to drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains to watch the leaves change colors. And while driving through, I'll stop at Winnie Ivey's Sweet Shop and stock up on her marvelous baked goods. I'll buy some books from Hope, local produce from Avis Packard (and get some of his recipe ideas), stop for a fabulous Italian dinner at that restaurant owned by the mayor, and marvel at the glorious gardens at Lord's Chapel. I can do all that, because it's time for another trip to Jan Karon's Mitford.
Mitford is the lovely town in the mountains that we first visited in At Home in Mitford, and now, with the fourteenth book in the series, To Be Where You Are, we get the chance to go back and get reacquainted with all our friends and family there. Father Tim is once again drawn back to help at the church, and Cynthia goes along for the ride. Newspaper editor J.C. Hogan continues to confuse his readers, and Emma has to put her two cents in as well. All the usual suspects are back, to make us feel like we've come home once again.
But everything is not ideal. From Esther Cunningham rising from her chair and telling her husband, "I'm dead," to newlyweds Lace and Dooley dealing with a plumbing problem at the veterinary clinic that could cost them their entire savings, the citizens of Mitford still have to deal with both the everyday irritations and bigger life challenges that can weigh us all down.
And there are also those days that wipe away the bad memories. On the day that Lace and Dooley's adopted son Jack Tyler officially becomes Jack Kavanaugh, the celebration mends hearts and spirits for an entire village.
Any trip to Mitford is one I want to take, and To Be Where You Are is no exception. Whenever life overwhelms me, I grab one of Jan Karon's books and head straight to Mitford for respite, relaxation, relaxing, and recharging. This latest book gives me another chance to get back to the place I love best in the world. I highly recommend all of the MItford books, from start to finish, in any order, in any of your favorite reading spots, over and over. Do not miss out on these books!
Galleys for To Be Where You Are were provided by G.P. Putnam's Sons (Penguin) through NetGalley.com, with all the gratitude of my heart.