One of My Favorite Authors

Broken Heart
Heart Lesson

Jan Karon walked with me through many dark nights in the midst of the deepest grief I’ve ever known.

Yet, she has no idea I feel this way. In fact, she has no idea who I am!

Each book in her Mitford series is set in a small town in North Carolina. The town itself becomes a character along with many of its citizens, but Father Tim Kavanagh of the Lord’s Chapel is the main character. As I read the first book, I kept waiting for some deep conflict and high drama. It just seemed to be a sweet story about the problems of ordinary folk in the South. I wondered where this story could possibly lead.

Jan Karon, author of the Mitford series

Just to give a little context to my mindset— when I began reading this series as a teacher of 8th grade literature, I was reading lots of young adult fiction which is expected to have fast-moving plots and serious conflict!

But Jan’s storytelling sucked me in. I found the threads of conflict stayed with me, and the plot twisted unexpectedly.  I was hooked at the end of the first book — a major criteria for sticking with an author. I read each of the books as soon as I could find them at the public library.

But one day, browsing a bargain book sale in Northwest Tennessee, I found a set of cassette tapes of the series – narrated by Jan herself. They were some ridiculously low price, or I never would have bought them. I seldom am interested in listening to the audio of a book I’ve already read.

When I walked through my valley of grief in 2002 I had trouble falling asleep. Every evening for most of my life I have a book to read before I go to sleep. But through the trauma that continued to affect me I cared nothing for reading fiction or watching TV. It seemed so pointless and insignificant.

One night I dug out Jan’s tapes, located a tape player and ear plugs and played the first tape. Since I knew the story, I didn’t have to follow the plot; Jan’s voice just pulled me into the lives of the citizens of Mitford. And I fell asleep, night after night.

When people ask me what kinds of things helped me during those first days of grief, I mention some of the books I’ve put on my Booklist, but I often forget about Jan’s tapes. They were truly memorable; thanks, Jan!

Just finished her latest book and will post a review on it soon.

I am thankful for authors who weave Christian principles into engaging stories. I’m especially thankful for Jan Karon’s books and her narration.


FYI: Haven’t seen that particular audio series anywhere. The recordings you can find on Amazon are good; some even have dramatic portrayals with different actors. I tried listening to someone else’s recording, and it just wasn’t the same!





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s