Author Jan Karon will return to her beloved fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina for the first time since 2005 with the upcoming novel, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. Since her 1996 debut, At Home in Mitford, millions of readers have come to love Father Tim Kavanaugh and his wife, Cynthia, and the newest installment will be the tenth book in her best-selling Mitford series.
Putnam will be releasing Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good on September 2, but until then, read an excerpt below:
His wife was determined to march him to the country club this Saturday evening. Worse, he'd have to stuff himself into his old tux like sausage into a casing.
The Irish breakfast—more properly, a resplendent banquet on a plate—was the culprit. He had tried to restrict himself to three such repasts during their stay in County Sligo, but ended up devouring seven, two of them out of view of his wife. He didn't know about Saint Paul, but the grim baggage of diabetes was definitely this cleric's thorn.
'I'm still jet-lagged,' he said.
'Jet-lagged? After ten days? Try again, sweetheart.'
There was a busy silence. They sat in his study, finishing a second cup of coffee. Rain gleamed on the leaves of the maple outside the vast window; fog capped the mountains beyond. 'Our observatory,' he reasoned, when faced with the alarming cost of so much glass.
'It's an important occasion, Timothy. Your doctor is retiring after decades of sleep loss and patients who won't do what the doctor ordered.'
So? Hardly anyone ever did what the priest ordered, either.
'Then he's volunteering to serve in one of the worst areas of famine in the world.'
She pressed her case as he wrestled an unsettling truth—with Hoppy Harper out of the picture, he would fall into the hands of Dr. Wilson, who, in his opinion, was yet the unlicked cub, medically speaking.
'And Father Timothy Kavanagh,' she said, 'highly esteemed friend and longtime priest of the guest of honor, wants to sit home.' The cocked head, the raised eyebrow, the gathering of hoarfrost.
'You're absolutely right,' he said.
'So you're going!'
'Cynthia, Cynthia. I didn't say I'm going, I said you're right that I want to sit home.' He gave forth a sigh.
'You're so southern.'
His Massachusetts-born spouse was keen on the notion that southerners were over-fond of sighing, something apparently beneath the dignity of Yankees. 'You won the war,' his father would have said, 'what's to sigh about?'
What do you think about a new Mitford novel, readers? Are you excited to be reunited with these characters?