I first read this series of books about a decade ago while I was (at that time) a solo pastor in a setting much like the central character in the series – “Father Tim.” Father Tim is the beloved rector of an Episcopal church in the small town of Mitford. In the series you are introduced to wonderful characters that you will recognize with different names from your own life. It’s sort of a “Pollyanna” type setting that will bring you to joy, laughter, sadness, and tears, and will take you on a journey where you are whisked into the arms of your loving Savior.
I would say that this is definitely my favorite series of novels by far. Jan Karon has a way of writing that takes your imagination away into Mitford and allows you to experience the stories as if you were really there. I recommend that you read this series while on vacation if possible, but if you can’t get away – you will feel like you are on vacation when you read this series. I think that Karon has a very good grasp of grace and redemption and conveys these great theological truths in the characters of these books in a wonderful way. Reading Karon will enlarge your view of God’s love, and how He sovereignly works in the lives of individuals to carry out His purposes. You will have a greater appreciation of the “church” and an enlarged worldview of all things theological via reading these books.
The best compliment I can give of Karon’s Mitford series is that in reading them you will be relaxed by her stories. She has a way of writing that calms and takes away your anxiety. You are truly able to bask in the realities of a world that truly is controlled by a loving God – even when you don’t see or understand it. These books are filled with stories that soothe the soul and bring hope into how you can make a difference in the lives of those around you for the sake of Christ and His glory.