Reading the review of Jan Karon’s new Mitford book, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, brought a smile to my face. Father Tim is not a character, he is an old friend. I have been mad at him, I have been jealous of him, I have been moved by him. There are old friends that you mute on Facebook and there are friends you make up the couch for when they show up on your doorstep. Fictional friends are no different. Tell me you’d turn away any of the following:
The staff from the bookstore at 84 Charing Cross Road
James Herriot, the country vet who recounted his adventures in All Creatures Great and Small, et al.
Enzo, the endearing dog narrator from The Art of Racing in the Rain
Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built detective in the series featuring such standouts as The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
Ron Weasley’s parents, first introduced in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The uncles from Jim the Boy