Come Rain or Come Shine (A Mitford Novel)
Karon's newest novel in her Mitford series, Come Rain or Come Shine highlights the upcoming nuptials of Dooley Kavanagh to Lace Harper. Friends forever, their friendship is now a deep, abiding love and they believe they are true soul mates.
Dooley is facing a many changes in his life. He recently graduated from veterinary school and is opening his own practice on the property where he and Lace will live as husband and wife.
Lace wants to keep their wedding a simple country affair, but their combined relatives and friends join together to help with the preparations, which makes her somewhat stressed. In addition, she is searching for the perfect dress, something unpretentious and within her budget. Comfort is sought in the journal she is keeping where she inscribes her innermost thoughts and wishes. Sad she cannot bear children, she is aware she is blessed, as one of the admissions she records shows with the following:
". . . believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it."
As everyone scurries around preparing the grounds, the women discuss decorations and food. Many guests offer to supply a potluck meal to allay the costs for the young couple. Lace is thrilled for this, which takes relieves some of the pressure. She understands this is the way country folks do things, yet the enormity of the situation is nervewracking.
During the hectic process of getting ready for the big day, Lace finds time to escape to the attic to create a special wedding gift for Dooley. Little does she know he plans a delightful and unexpected surprise for her.
Father Tim, Dooley's adopted dad, is performing the ceremony, and is overjoyed to learn his stepbrother Henry will be coming to the North Carolina Mountains from Mississippi to attend. Apart for many years, his presence is sure to add more happiness to the festivities.
In the midst of the festivities, Choo Choo, a huge bull, is delivered to the farm. Though considered dangerous and ferocious, the bull inspires Dooley when he spots Lace feeding him from her hand. This is further confirmation the woman he is to spend his life with is the right one, and he knows he couldn't cherish her more.
The wedding day approaches with many surprises in store, showcasing deep and enduring devotion by family and friends.
This edition of the Mitford series is full of wisdom, inspiration, and happiness. The mountain country setting offers solace and peace, and the vernacular of the area adds to the enjoyment of the story.
However, if one has not read the prior novels, this one can be confusing. It is hard to discern the many different and colorful characters, for they are not allotted separate chapters, and the point-of-view of each one jumps around from one to the other. The redeeming grace is the love of family and community as well as the deep spirituality and togetherness which prove to be the main focus of this story.