BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Guest Review of To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon

Guest Review, To Be Where You Are, Jan Karon, Bea's Book Nook
Series: Mitford Years #14
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 19th, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon*Book Depository* | iBooks* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb 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.

Today's review is from a personal friend of mine, Elizabeth L. We often trade books and discuss authors. Elizabeth has been a fan of this series for many years so when the publisher reached out about the book, I immediately thought of her, and she graciously agreed to read and review it. 

Elizabeth L's Thoughts:

"To Be Where You Are" is the latest installment of Jan Karon's beloved Mitford series. To be honest, I am a huge fan of the Mitford books and reread the books from the original series every year. The last three books of the series, written after a nine year hiatus, have a slightly different voice that, for me, has taken some getting used to. My huge pet peeve of the last three books is the introduction of characters who are exgtremely wealthy and they're worked into the story line to solve other characters money woes.

I read "To Be Where You Are" shortly after I had finished rereading "A New Song" so the difference initially seemed bigger this time around. At first I got caught up in the nitty gritty of characters aging at different rates (esp the Barlow clan), Blake Eddistoe being demoted from vet to vet tech, Tommy's loving parents in the original series basically leaving him to be raised by grandparents, Esther Bolick no longer having a daughter; however, after checking in The Mitford Bedside Companion, differences in characters' story lines is something Jan Karon has always readily admitted to.

Now, on to the book. The story could work as a stand alone, however some story lines flow more smoothly if you have read the prior books. Of course, there were some story lines that were confusing because the new story lines veered from the older books. In a nutshell, I think the reader will get more out of it if they're familiar with the series. The story line flowed and all of the various sub stories tied together quite well and with believable results. It was nice to revisit some characters who had had bigger roles in the earlier books e.g. Puny, Scott and Hope Murphy, etc but that had somewhat disappeared in "Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good" and "Come Rain or Come Shine". I particularly enjoyed the story line of Scott and Hope's daughter, Grace, writing Louella's life story. While I don't see "To Be Where You Are" as ever being my favorite Mitford book, fans of the series will enjoy catching up with the "lives" of their favorite characters. I am looking forward to the next installment.


  1. Oh goodness. I'd thought to try her but the inconsistencies in series would drive me nuts. Thanks for the heads up on that!


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