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A Common Life by Jan Karon

A Common Life

by Jan Karon

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A delightful short read - almost a novella in size - Karon takes a step back with this sixth installment to provide details of the wedding between Father Tim and Cynthia. If following story trajectory order, this book would probably have appeared between installments 3 and 4, but no matter. For me the favorite take-aways are the snapshots Karon provides of the various Mitford community members as news of the engagement and the wedding day play out. Karon obviously appreciates that people can get "territorial" about involvement in wedding planning activities, and that wedding guests can be prone to mind-wandering while all the "official" stuff takes place. Yes, the story does get a little sappy and does get a bit preachy but overall, it is all about the wedding, community and how even the best laid plans can encounter some unexpected hiccups. You just need to roll with them when they happen.

Overall, a delightful and quick read with a focus on the importance of the simple things in life. ( )
  lkernagh | Jun 19, 2017 |
I enjoyed the book, although it was confusing because I did not read the others in the series. I wish it had stopped after the second to last chapter, as I felt the last chapter detracted from the wedding theme in the book. ( )
  LadyoftheLodge | Nov 28, 2016 |
  MrsDoglvrs | Apr 24, 2016 |
This is #6 in the series but really now - it fits in as third as the other books are after the wedding so I read it before moving on through the series. ( )
  GeneHunter | Mar 13, 2016 |
This, rather confusingly, was the sixth book written by Jan Karon in her 'Mitford' series, but is the third chronologically. It's quite a short book - less than 200 pages - and it covers the time from Father Tim's proposal to his neighbour Cynthia through to their honeymoon.

When I first read it, I felt a bit disorientated as I had already read books covering later periods of Tim and Cynthia's lives as a married couple. It was a nice book, but I felt as if I had already passed that stage.

However, re-reading this third works much better. It follows on from the last chapter of 'A Light in the Window', filling in gaps, and giving a wonderful picture of the growing and blossoming love of this delightful couple.

Some of this book is written from Cynthia's perspective although the majority still follows Father Tim in his day-to-day life, mixing with parishioners and other friends, and going through the inevitable pre-marital nerves. Not recommended for anyone who hasn't read the first two Mitford books, but essential reading for anyone who has. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Father Timothy Kavanagh stood at the stone wall on the ridge above Mitford, watching the deepening blush of a late June sunset.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142000345, Paperback)

A Common Life is a trip back in time for fans of "the little town with the big heart." Somewhere between the second and third volumes of Jan Karon's Mitford Years series, dyed-in-the-wool bachelor Father Timothy Kavanagh and his next-door neighbor Cynthia Coppersmith tied the knot. The author left it to readers' imaginations to fill in the blanks. In this delightful story, Karon paints a complete picture of the events surrounding the wedding of Mitford's best-loved couple, and chronicles the poignant and often hilarious reactions to the nuptial news by the tightly knit North Carolina community.

All the details cherished by those who are enchanted by weddings are offered here, from the color of the bridal outfit (aquamarine) to the choice of flowers (virgin's bower and hydrangeas). When the wedding bells finally ring, the pews are packed with the people who make Mitford special: ornery Uncle Billy, delightful Miss Sadie, indispensable Louella, and the cantankerous Emma Newland. And there's not a dry eye in the house when Father Tim's problematic foster child Dooley Barlowe sings for the two people who love him the most.

A Common Life is not just a wedding story. It's also an intimate portrait of the unfolding love between Cynthia and the shy Father Tim, complete with fears and hesitations, professions of commitment, and Barnabas the dog delivering love letters. But there's nothing heavy-handed here. The tensions don't run any higher than wondering if Cynthia will make it to the wedding on time after getting locked inside her own bathroom, or guessing if Esther will make her famous three-layer orange marmalade cake for the reception. Told in the warm, down-home style that Karon has built her reputation on, A Common Life is sweet without being saccharine, charming without being cloying. It's an invitation to a literary reunion of the best kind, and like all weddings, it will probably coax a few tears and plenty of smiles. --Cindy Crosby

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:59 -0400)

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The creator of the Mitford stories goes back through time to relate the wedding of Father Tim Kavanagh to Cynthia Coppersmith.

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