Back Home in Mitford
by Phillip E. Johnson
I recently spent a month in the hospital. The care was excellent, visitors were frequent, and even the food was tolerable, but even so, the monotonous hospital routine got me down. To give me an imaginative respite, my wife brought a copy of A Common Life, Jan Karon’s latest novel of life in Mitford. Mitford is a sort of American Shangri-La, where the virtues of traditional small town life have been preserved through the influence of Father Tim, an aging Episcopal priest who still uses the old Book of Common Prayer and practices its principles. In A Common Life, Father Tim finally gets up the nerve to propose to his sweetheart, Cynthia (who writes and illustrates children’s books featuring her cat, Violet). Thus ensues the mother of all sentimental weddings, with such . . .