Jan Karon and Pat G’Orge Walker

I’ve gotten on the audiobook bandwagon so I’ve been listening to quite a few books during my daily commute and other driving trips.  Through this process, I’ve gotten to know and fall in love with a new author: Jan Karon.  Now I know she’s not new to lots of peope, and though I’d heard of her Mitford series, I’d never read one.  Well, I’m on my second book now and I’m absolutely in love.

To be honest, I’ve had to sit back and wonder why I’m in love.  You know why?  Because she has the best characters in the world and the guy who does the reading for her audiobooks does each one of them justice.  I can’t explain how taken I am with Mitord and its people.  I also stand in awe of Karon’s grasp of scripture.  If you haven’t read any of these books, I strongly suggest you give them a chance.

They’re not drama-filled in way of many of our books today but they provide a glimpse into the big heart of a elderly priest (rector) and his bumbling but endearing congregation.  I want to write that kind of book.   Father Tim is a wonderful character who embodies the love of Christ in a very “real” way.  There is a lot of discussion today about writing Christian fiction that is “real.”  Well, nobody gets more real than Karon, but she pulls it off in such a clever and sympatheic way.

I’ve been wondering if I’ve read anyone who does what Karon does and it occurred to me that Pat “Sister Betty” G’Orge Walker does.  Pat’s stories are endearing because of the quirky characters in much the same way Karon’s Mitford series is.  Both authors use the frailities and contradictions and hypocrisies in the lives of Christians to show what “true religion” is. Pat’s books are funny, almost satirical, tales of church people.  You laugh a lot in Karon’s books but they’re not satire.

Don’t get my wrong; the authors are telling different stories but I believe they have the same heart.  The kind of heart that can look lovingly on a flawed people and show the wonderous power of God.  You can tell both authors love and embrace their flawed characters, too, which makes their stories even more compelling.

If you haven’t read both authors, you must.  While you can start with any book in the Mitford series (I started around book six but went back to one), I recommend starting with book 1, Home at Mitford.  With Pat, I think you can start anywhere.  Her 2007 book, Crusin’ on Desperation, was a definite keeper, and according to Publishers Weekly so is the new one, Somewhat Saved.  I’ve already put it on order at Amazon.

What can I say?  I want to do what they do.  They make me proud to write Christian fiction.

Enjoy your week!


P.S. You’ll notice that I didn’t make an excuse for the long delay in posting.  Well, I’m apologizing for it now, not making an excuse.  Thanks for continuing to drop by.

8 thoughts on “Jan Karon and Pat G’Orge Walker

  1. Hi Angela,

    I’ve definitely heard of Pat’s “Sister Betty,” and got a chance to see Sister Betty in person at one of Jacquelin Thomas’ writers conferences in NC. Thanks for the recommendation on Jan Karon. I’ll check her books out.


  2. Hi Angela and everyone!
    I really like Jan Karon. I discovered her via audiobook as well. I listened to These High, Green Hills and then read A Common Life. I have yet to read/listen to the others but I will. This is my first time hearing of Pat G’Orge Walker; I’ll have to check her out. Thanks, Angela, for the reminder and the recommendation.


  3. Sounds like just the kinds of books I would enjoy. Funny thing is I took a Jan Karon book out of the library, because I so wanted to read one of the Mitford books I’d heard so much about. I couldn’t get past the first chapter. Couldnt’ really say why other than at the time maybe I wasn’t in the right mood or frame of mind. I also heard great things about the Sister Betty books. Couldn’t get past the cutesy character names. Tried twice.

    Both are still on my list of “to be read” books. I think I have to put myself in a place where I can overlook whatever has bothered me in the past. I’ve done that before with other authors.

  4. Patricia, I’ve wondered if I would like the Karon books as much if I were reading them as opposed to listening to them. Her reader is magnificent and I am totally in love with all of her characters. If you’ve tried Pat’s book but haven’t read “Cruisin’ on Desperation,” I recommend you do so. I think she moved into the big time with that one.

  5. Jan Karon and Kurt Franklin are two of the reasons that I came to hunger for the real Christ. I had never heard of or seen Christian fiction. Thank you for including a picture of what a real Christian is suppose to look like, to be honest I had never seen one. Now i strive to be one. Keep up the God work Ms. Benson

  6. Hello Angela. I am an avid reader who also happens to be a librarian and wannabe writer (formerly a member of RWA and Women Writers of Color).
    I am so excited to see you love the characters in the Mitford series. i own them all and have read most of them at least twice. They are certainly keepers because they point to God’s truth. Like you said, the audio versions are excellent adaptations. -Angela Blair

  7. Etta and Angela, we’re of like mind about Karon. She’s does a great portrayal of what it means to “live” Christian. I just love her work and I’d love to meet her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *