If you enjoyed our vampire series in October, I hope you’ll enjoy our profile of some of our Christmas books! First up is Shepherds Abiding from Jan Karon.
It’s nearly Christmas and Father Tim is on the search for the perfect gift for his wife Cynthia. He has been brainstorming for a while but he just hasn’t found the right thing. He is becoming frustrated when one day while walking down Main Street in Mitford Andrew Gregory, mayor and owner of the town antique shop calls out to him.
On a recent trip to Europe to restock his antique shop Andrew came across a nativity set, a motley crew of figures combined from multiple nativities. He bought it thinking he might just find someone to repaint the figures and bring them back to their original glory. After thinking about it Andrew has decided Father Tim is the ideal candidate for the job. Father Tim has never been a handyman and his wife is the creative one in their family, the artist. He is drawn to the figures though, most especially to one of the angels.
Down the block from the antique store is Happy Endings the town bookstore. Hope Winchester, the manager, has learned that the owner intends to close the store at the end of the year. She has an idea, a wonderful exciting and nerve-wracking idea. A way to save the bookstore for the town, a way to keep herself in town, and a way to bring her sister and herself closer together.
It is also the last chance to enjoy a lunch at the Main Street Grill, after 40 odd years Percy and his wife Velma are hanging up their aprons. One more thing Lew Boyd has eloped but is living in Mitford while his new wife lives with her mama in Tennessee, as Christmas he nears he becomes more and more upset with the situation but is unable to change it.
I found this story to be delightful, a great short read and a wonderful visit to Mitford. My mom had never read the rest of the Mitford years books when a co-worker gave her Shepherds Abiding to read. After she finished she couldn’t wait to tell me about it, which gave me the opportunity to tell her about the rest. She’s with me now in having read the whole series and hoping there will be just one more story about Father Tim and Cynthia.