Light from Heaven (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
Light from Heaven is the seventh in Jan Karon’s series of books featuring Father Tim. In the earlier books, Father Tim came to live and work in Mitford, a fictional town that might be located in the author’s home state of North Carolina. Karon’s strength as a writer has been to give a sympathetic portrait of life in a small town. People who have read any of the earlier books in this series will fondly recall Uncle Billy, the joke teller, Emma, the overly efficient church secretary, the men who gather at the Main Street Grill for food and conversation, and Father Tim’s lengthy romance with his neighbor Cynthia that eventually leads to his marriage at age sixty-three.
In the current book, Karon introduces her readers to a large cast of new characters whose joys and tragedies are skillfully woven together. Each chapter may have a dozen or more short anecdotes that move the individual life stories forward. Karon’s writing is like a large wall mural that contains many people drawn by the artist, each one distinctively different. An elderly woman sitting in a rocking chair, a young couple walking together, a farmer busy with chores, a grandmother reading to a young child, an angry, drunken man pointing a gun at his frightened son, a construction worker building a chimney, a priest visiting a hospital roomthese are a few of the vignettes to be found in Light from Heaven.
Father Tim has retired from his church work in...
(The entire section is 1735 words.)
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