Tim is currently reading (simultaneously, to judge from the bookmarks) Darwin’s Doubt, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran, Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt, Dethroning Jesus and Inside Scientology. This is the third book he has read about L. Ron Hubbard. Commenting on it Jerry said, “When I first heard about this book, I thought it was one of his science fiction works.”
“It is,” said Tim.
He is also reading Jan Karon’s magnificent novel, In the Company of Others. Her Father Tim series, which trots along after a parish pastor in a small town who “goes about doing good” in the lives of characters who are real characters, culminates in this amazing novel that for me breaks into genuine literature. (I wrote and told Karon so.)
I thought Tim would like it because it captures Irish land, life, language, and laughter so refreshingly-and he does. I like it too for its literary allusions. We grew up in a family that brought wonderful quotes to bear on every possible subject from authors as various as Joyce, Homer, Twain, and Milne.
Of the protagonist our Tim says, “If I had to have a priest I wouldn’t mind having one like Father Tim.”
Wait until he gets to the glorious ending. Karon’s books are always deeply redemptive in a way both satisfying and realistic. I come away thinking, Yes, that kind of healing is possible here on earth, if we just potter about seeking to let God live through us as the (very ordinary) Father Tim does.
P. S. Never mind. Tim just said he’s bogging down in the book–too many characters, “too many names starting with A. or C.”–and may not finish it after all. I told him to ignore the sub-plots–the theft of the painting, the ancient journal, the fishermen and the American women on holiday, the people calling and texting from back in the States that you would only know if you’d read the previous (nine) books in the series. The plots are all beautifully woven together at the end but all he needs to focus on is the formidable, grand confrontation building between the two curmudgeons who used to be sweethearts.