Come Rain or Come Shine / by Jan Karon. (A Mitford Novel) 1.23.2017

G.P. Putnam’s Sons ISBN 9780399167454

Adult Rating: 4

Author Jan Karon offers another winning story in Come Rain or Come Shine, the latest in her much-beloved Mitford series. In this touching novel, readers finally experience the long-awaited wedding of Dooley Kavanagh and Lace Harper. As expected, the ceremony is filled with simple beauty and deep emotion, along with a few down-to-earth surprises. Many favorite characters attend the wedding, which is a celebration of all that is good in life.

As always, Father Tim is the central, grounding figure in the story and other beloved characters continue being who they are and doing what they do best as well. As in the other Mitford novels, there is an underlying peace amidst a cast of characters who are simple and real and deal with all the trials and troubles life brings to all. No matter the challenge, Mitford’s characters survive and thrive by engaging their unique mix of humor and faith. And they always love their neighbors.

Central to this novel, which ties up several loose ends while leaving open the possibility of a continuing storyline, is the theme of love. As Lace Harper prepares for her wedding, she wonders aloud in her diary about the definition of cherish: “Fr Tim says he feels cherish is linked to ~ or perhaps best defined by the admonition in Romans 12:10: Outdo one another in showing honor.” (p. 92) As always in the Mitford series, the characters in Come Rain or Come Shine show what it means to honor both each other and God. And those characters who fall short find their way to some form of redemption. Readers who come to Mitford to find a place where neighbors are what neighbors should be and families overcome challenges to be what families should be, will be more than satisfied.

Valorie Cooper, CLJ

Earlier Series Title Reviewed by CLJSomewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2015).