cover image A New Song

A New Song

Jan Karon. Penguin Audiobooks, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-14-086901-9

Karon reads the fifth installment of her popular Mitford series with gentle authority, nimble in her Southern enunciation and the depiction of colorful local characters (the four previous titles are available on tape, with the author at the microphone). She is very good at establishing mood, eliciting the nuances of time and place in the life of Father Tim Kavanagh, the recently retired Episcopal minister of this postcard-perfect North Carolina small town. He and Cynthia, his devoted wife, are moving to the coastal island of Whitecap for a year, where he is to preside as interim minister at a small church. Kavanagh is acutely sensitive to the ""upheaval"" of the ""tearing up and nailing down"" required by the temporary move. He feels homesick and is nagged with fear, especially as he learns that his adopted teenage son, Dooley, has landed in jail back home. And that's just the beginning of his troubles. Because Kavanagh's life unfolds episodically--and always in unexpected ways--it translates especially keenly as audio drama. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover. (Apr.)