Picks and Pans Review: The Mitford Years

updated 12/15/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/15/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Jan Karon

Mitford is the literary equivalent of Bedford Falls, the small town of It's a Wonderful Life. A boxed three-book set of Jan Karon's bestselling chronicle of life in the kinder, gentler hamlet invites readers to a satisfying amble along Main Street and a chance to meet Mitford's friendly people. The series centers on Father Tim, a middle-aged bachelor and Episcopal priest who finds joy and sorrow so entwined that he can scarcely tell where one leaves off and the other begins. Firmly settled down with a large dog, he is surprised and ultimately delighted by love. Readers will be too. (Penguin, $35.95)

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