Book Review

Come Rain or Come Shine – Jan Karon

Book Title: Come Rain or Come Shine (A Mitford Novel)
Series: The Mitford Series
Author: Jan Karon
Amazon Link: Click here

Disclaimer: I received this free book from NetGalley in exchange for an un-biased review.

This book is like coming home. Coming to the home you always wish you’d had. The Mitford books have always reminded me of a great episode of Andy Griffith. Kids wandering around barefoot, swinging from porch swings and making daisy chains. Wonderful, loving neighbors always ready to give you a hand. A town full of loving people, who though they all have flaws and foibles, you simply can’t live without. It’s the town you wish you’d grown up in or you wish you could give to your children.

I’ve been a fan of the Mitford series for nearly 20 years now. Amazing! I can hardly believe it’s been so long! The main character, an episcopal priest in North Carolina is a model of kindness and solid morality. For being a series rooted in Christian beliefs, you don’t feel like you’re being preached at. However, you are gently reminded how good life can be if we keep working hard at being the very best we can be, from the inside out.

This book focuses on the preparations for the wedding between two long-time favorite characters in the series. It’s a short book and a very quick read, tightly focused on one main event and while it reaches out to touch peripheral characters from time to time the book does keep squarely on task. It is a sentimental book. Which is not a bad thing. It speaks very well to its target audience and what they want, fans of the series who would love a good happy cry over beloved characters. It delivers.

I did have a couple of issues with the way the book was edited. I don’t mind a narrative that jumps from character to character. However, too often there was no way to know who was speaking at a given time. As a result, I was taken out of the atmosphere that the writer was trying to create in order to scan back and forth over a page to determine who was speaking. I am hoping that this might be an issue with how the ARC was structured. Perhaps the physical copies will have some kind of indicator that will make transitions easier for the reader. Regardless, the editor should have taken notice and done something to clarify the narrator for the reader.

**Possible Spoiler alert!**
Secondly, hopefully without going too far into spoiling a major plot point, I took a little bit of an issue with the way a foster child was treated in the book. I have been a foster parent to a number of children, and I was a little perturbed to see the way that this child’s abrupt arrival was not treated with the care and consideration that he should have been due. It was acknowledged that the circumstances and timing of his arrival was probably causing him a great deal of stress, but this was so easily brushed aside. One character expressed the thought that, oh well God brought him here this weekend so it must be ok with being dropped into a stressful situation. I know that I’m expressing my thoughts in a very obtuse way, but I really don’t want to spoil anything for other readers. I know this is just a book. This is not a real child. But all the same, it felt jarring to me. The way he was treated felt selfish and mean. His reactions were unrealistic and self serving. It didn’t sit well with me.

I guess my reaction really is a testament to the way these characters have become so real to me in the last 20 years that I am disappointed when I see them have such a serious lapse in judgement. Ultimately, that is how I felt, disappointed. Odd isn’t it how books have such power over our feelings. That says a lot in and of itself. I love Mitford. I can’t wait to go back.

Song for this book: Dimming of the Day – Richard & Linda Thompson

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