Book Review! To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon

Title: To Be Where You Are
 Jan Karon
Release Date: 
September 19, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “#1 New York Times bestselling author Jan Karon returns with the fourteenth novel in the beloved Mitford series, featuring three generations of Kavanaghs.

After twelve years of wrestling with the conflicts of retirement, Father Tim Kavanagh realizes he doesn’t need a steady job to prove himself. Then he’s given one–but what, exactly, does it prove? Meanwhile, newly married Dooley and Lace face a crisis that empties their bank account and turns their household upside down. Is the honeymoon over? Is this where real life begins?

As the Mitford Muse editor stumbles on a quick fix for marital woes and the town grocer falls in love for the first time, Father Tim and Cynthia receive an invitation to yet another family wedding.

But perhaps the bottom line is this: While a star blinks out in the Mitford firmament, another soon blinks on at Meadowgate, and four-year-old Jack Tyler looks forward to the biggest day of his life–for now and forever.

Jan Karon weaves together the everyday lives of two families, and the cast of characters that readers around the world now love like kin.”

Review: I loved getting back to this amazing small town and being able to hang out with the crazy cast of characters that live in Mitford again. I have missed all of them way to much since the last book.  I was glad to get a lot more of Dooley and Lace and of course Father Tim and Cynthia, but I was really glad to get more of Avis Packard and Coot Hendrick, and Little Grace Murphy was such a treat. Coot has cracked me up since he first showed up in the books so I was glad to see him back as a main character here. We didn’t see as much of Avis, other than just being the grocery proprietor. His journey in this book was wonderful and I had to shed a tear or two.

I loved reading about Dooley and Lace’s marriage and of course little Jack! The excitement of Name Day was heartwarming and I couldn’t get enough. They are such amazing parents, but of course not perfect. I was glad to see the way they struggled with parenting but rose above it. The way Dooley and Lace handle the trials and stresses of life and marriage was also wonderful. Life isn’t always roses and they learned that right away but the way they worked together and trusted God was amazing. Both grew up so much and became even better adults in this book and I truly hope there will be more of their story in the future.

I was also eager to get to see Father Tim and Cynthia again. Their marriage cracks me up and inspires me at the same time. I love their banter and the way they are always there for each other; their marriage is one I aspire to.

I did have some issues in the beginning, however. It took me quite a while to get back into her writing style. I assume the other books in this series are the same, but it’s been so long since I read the other books that I forgot.

I got frustrated with the way she begins each characters part. She doesn’t usually give the name of the character you are reading, instead just used pronouns “she” or “he”. Meaning it could be many people in the book. At times it took until the end of the characters few paragraphs to be able to figure out who I was actually reading about.

She also shifted within their place to different characters at times, making it very confusing. This was particularly difficult when I was reading about Dooley and Jack, it would start in Dooley’s perspective but then suddenly shift to Jack without distinguishing between the two, using only “he”. The only way you knew it was Jack, was because Dooley wouldn’t say that.

All in all, once I got into the book and back into her style, I really enjoyed it. I truly hope this isn’t the last book in this series, but I have a feeling I will say that after every book. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for the final ending. At least if this book is the final end, it will be a good one.

*I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*



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