Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.
Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."
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 episodicallyÄand always in unexpected waysÄit translates especially keenly as audio drama. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover. (Apr.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Father Tim Cavanaugh has been retired from Lord's Chapel in the mountains of Midford, NC, for a total of six months. He has been called to be the interim Episcopal priest on the island of Whitecap, on the Outer Banks. This new adventure requires much preparation, but at last Father Tim and wife Cynthia are off, and soon he is immersed in his new community. However, troubles keep surfacing at home, and the Cavanaughs find themselves torn between new responsibilities and old friendships. A destructive storm brings the Whitecap community together and helps to create the miracle Father Tim has been praying for. As such, there are details and relationships that are never spelled out. While this can be somewhat puzzling, it does not detract from this delightful, old-fashioned tale-telling. Karon's (The Mitford Years) seemingly simple story is full of complexities and interconnections, and John McDonough's narration is superb. Highly recommended.ÄJoanna Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
"Welcome home Mitford fans . . . to Karon's gift for illuminating the struggles that creep into everyday lives--along with a vividly imagined world."