It's been a while since I read one of Jan Karon's Mitford novels, but when I read the summary of her latest, Come Rain or Come Shine, I was eager to pick it up. Anyone who read the early books in the series will remember Dooley. He stole everyone's heart, from Father Tim Kavanagh's to Lacey Harper's and the readers'. Now, after all these years, Dooley is finishing vet school and getting married.
Dooley and Lacey want a small, simple country wedding, but in a community where everyone knows them, that's difficult. And, the schedule is formidable. First Dooley must graduate. Then, he's moving home, taking over the local veterinarian practice. Dooley's first bull for his small herd is arriving. The barn must be cleaned out, grass grown, food prepared. Lacey doesn't have a wedding dress. And, of course, there will be unexpected guests and surprises. A simple country wedding.
The writing style in Come Rain or Come Shine does not make it an easy book to read. It takes a little bit of time as Karon switches viewpoints from Father Tim to Lacey to Dooley without revealing who is speaking or thinking. Once the reader falls into the rhythm of the book and the storytelling, it flows through the days leading up to the wedding or the "Big Knot" as it's called.
Come Rain or Come Shine is a heartwarming, homespun story. Fans of the earlier books will be pleased to see the characters come together at the wedding. They'll rejoice with Dooley and Lacey on the joyous day. There's humor throughout the book, even during the wedding. But, there's also time for reflection and introspection for Father Tim, Dooley and Lacey.
Fans of the Mitford series will find themselves crying and laughing over the latest episodes in this beloved saga. Who knows whether this is the last in the series? It could end on this hopeful note, or there are characters whose stories could continue. No matter what, Come Rain or Come Shine is a triumphant culmination for a long-running, well-loved series.
Jan Karon's website is www.mitfordbooks.com
Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon. G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2015. ISBN 9780399167454 (hardcover), 287p.
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