A Light in the Window: The Mitford Years, Book 2. Jan Karon’s second book in the Mitford series finds Father Tim aged to his early 60’s and not a bit less prone to attracting the town’s afflicted. A Light in the Window casts new reflections on Mitford’s quaint and quackish…and the prayers that seemingly hold the town in God’s favor.
Father Tim returns home from a summer in Ireland to find trouble waiting on his kitchen counter in the form of a crab cobbler casserole. The freshly widowed Edith Mallory isn’t wasting any time! While having nightmares of being locked in a closet with Edith, Father Tim struggles, by day, with his uncanny reluctance to go ahead and marry the woman he does love, his neighbor and friend, Cynthia. One of the more tender moments of his day is looking over at her house, in the evening, and seeing a light in the window. What is he so afraid of?
While Cynthia is in New York, working on her new book, Father Tim comes to realize that he has been taking her for granted. When he reads a write-up about her in the local paper, he wonders how it is that he never knew she loved peanut butter and banana sandwiches and dancing the rumba. He decides to get the heirloom broach he’s been thinking of giving her, ever since she mentioned “going steady,” fixed and polished, but he just doesn’t seem to be able to find it.
In the meantime, he must juggle Edith’s conniving (she’s even sending him roses now), his young charge, Dooley, coming of age, the conflicts arising from the construction of the new nursing home (along with the lost soul of the tough site manager, Buck Leaper), and the dilemma of what to do with a peculiar visitor who shows up on his doorstep, suitcases in hand. This unexpected guest doesn’t seem to be thinking of leaving, but she rarely comes out of her room, either.
With the help of his part time secretary, Emma, who lets him know, “It’s Whang-doo”, when the dreaded Edith phones, and his light-hearted housekeeper, Puny, who is getting married soon, Father Tim keeps things together and pretty well-covered with his prayers.
Jan Karon’s voice is sweet and pleasant…a good fit for the majority of her characters.