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To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon

A Cord Of 3 Strands

To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon is a comprehensive Christian novel that follows the beloved characters of Mitford once more. It is the fourteenth book in the Mitford Years series but can be read as a stand-alone. For maximum enjoyment I recommend buying and reading all the Mitford books. It is a delightful series and one you will want to re-visit again and again.

The reader joins Lace, Dooley and four year old Jack Tyler, just a few months after the wedding. We witness the love within this little family unit as we see Jack Tyler grow in confidence as he rests secure in love, for the first time ever.

Mitford is family. It has always been family. We see residents offer their services when one of their own is in hospital.

We also say goodbye to a long-term Mitford resident. The town provides a good send off. There is light hearted humor too as the newspaper obituary does contain a rather large faux pas!

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Come Rain Or Come Shine by Jan Karon

A New Beginning

Come Rain Or Come Shine by Jan Karon is a positively charming contemporary Christian novel that I loved. It is the thirteenth book in the Mitford Years series but can be read as a stand-alone.

I have read all the previous Mitford books, so this book, for me, was like coming home. I joined all the familiar faces as they prepared for Lace and Dooley’s wedding.

This was a warm and welcoming book as family, friends and community came together to help prepare the wedding. From grass cutting to Esther Bolick’s famous marmalade cake, everyone pitched in. The reader becomes totally immersed in Mitford life for a few hours.

There are new faces to meet – Choo Choo the bull, a new puppy, and my favourite, four year old Jack Tyler who is in need of a home. The reader just knows that what Father Tim did for Dooley, so Dooley will do for Jack Tyler. Jack Tyler is in safe hands.

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The Tangled Tale Of The Woolgathering Castoffs by Sharon J Mondragon

Love Wins

The Tangled Tale Of The Woolgathering Castoffs by Sharon J Mondragon is the most charming contemporary Christian novel that I loved. It is the second book in the Purls & Prayers series but can be read as a stand-alone.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with characters old and new. A warm welcome is extended to all.

The setting is mainly in an assisted living facility where some residents suffer from dementia. It is hard for spouses and families to see their loved ones slip away bit by bit. Some activities are remembered even if they can no longer remember family.

It is against this backdrop that we meet the woolgathers who knit and crochet prayer shawls in the foyer several times a week. “A shawl made with love and prayer can give comfort and courage to the person who receives it.” Each shawl is prayed over in church too. Shawls are given to those whom God chooses.

The characters press into God. They may ‘hear’ from Him as they knit in public or private. They know the importance of prayer. “It mattered whether she prayed for them or not.” The recipients of the shawls can ‘feel’ the love.

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The Secret To Happiness by Suzanne Woods Fisher

3 Legs On The Stool

The Secret To Happiness by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the most charming contemporary Christian novel that I read mainly in one sitting. I paused only to sleep. It is the second book in the Cape Cod Creamery series and can be read as a stand-alone. However, I recommend reading the books in order, so that you see character progression and development, as well as maximum enjoyment.

Cape Cod and family are the place to go when life gets tough. Family and the community offer love and care. It is surprising to witness healing coming in the form of six year old cowboy Leo. His warm, sunny nature and his openness, help souls heal. One cannot help but smile when he is around.

The story, once more, centres around the ice cream parlour. Now it is winter and the tourists are gone, it has to adapt and change. Likewise, we need to be adaptable as we start new chapters in life.

We all need lives that have purpose. “She’d hit her goal… there’d always been a vague feeling of emptiness… Is this all there is?” We need to make sure that are lives are centred on what gives meaning. So much in life is just chasing the wind. We need to find our purpose. Knowing God makes our lives meaningful. “Do you talk to God?” God longs to hear from us. Prayer is simply conversations with God. We need to listen as well as talk.

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