Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reading Challenge: The Mitford Series

I'm having the most splendid time reading the books in Jan Karon's Mitford Series. I've now finished the first four of nine books in the series: "At Home In Mitford," "A Light In The Window," "These High, Green Hills," and "Out to Canaan," thus accomplishing my Spring Reading Challenge goal (WOO-HOO!); but I'm not stopping here. Karon manages to make each new book even better than the previous one.

In my review of "At Home In Mitford," I mentioned that I thought her characters needed to be developed further. I also hoped then that author Jan Karon would take time to flesh out her characters in subsequent books. You know what? She did.

Karon was able to make some initially unlikeable characters into characters I really care about. She's able to weave tension in to every book and leave her readers with a satisfying resolution. But what I'm especially enjoying about her books is the way she so vividly describes the scenery.

Here is an excerpt from "These High, Green Hills," to give you an example:

"Little by little, the sharp intakes of breath and the murmurs and whooping subsided, and they stood there, lined up along the wall, gazing at the wonder of a sunset that blazed across the heavens. Where the sun was sinking, the skies ran with molten crimson that spread above the mountains like watercolor, changing to orange and pink, lavender and gold. A cool fire of platinum rimmed the profile of Gabriel Mountain and the dark, swelling ridges on either side."

I have to admit that I wasn't immediately addicted to the series. At the start of the second book I actually wondered whether I had the stamina to continue reading the series, simply because it started off way too slow for me. In fact, I actually found myself putting the book down several times to read some nonfiction works. But then I decided to give the book another chance, found some quiet time and just read. I've been finding it hard to put her books down ever since.

I'm now off to read the rest of the books in the series, and will post a final review at the end of my journey to Mitford. Check out my progress on my sidebar.

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