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At Home in Mitford (1994)

by Jan Karon

Series: Mitford Years (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,548911,709 (3.95)188
"It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's sixty years old. Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy about ordinary people and their ordinary lives"--… (more)
  1. 20
    A Light in the Window by Jan Karon (rxtheresa)
    rxtheresa: First book in this series
  2. 10
    Stealing Lumby by Gail Fraser (cyderry)
  3. 10
    The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser (cyderry, bell7)
    bell7: Another gentle read set in a small town full of quirky characters.
  4. 00
    Village School by Miss Read (katie4098)
    katie4098: Jan Karon was inspired by the Village School and Thrush Green series' by Miss Read (Dora Saint). Same theme of country village life.
  5. 00
    Cruel Sanctuary by Brad Reynolds (rxtheresa)
  6. 00
    The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg (PaperbackPirate)
    PaperbackPirate: sense of community
  7. 00
    Far from Home by Anne DeGrace (PaperbackPirate)
    PaperbackPirate: sense of community
  8. 00
    The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell (foggidawn)
  9. 00
    Ritual Death (Father Mark Townsend Mystery) by Brad Reynolds (rxtheresa)
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» See also 188 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's sixty years old. Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy about ordinary people and their ordinary lives. ( )
  Gmomaj | Jun 6, 2020 |
This is a story about the town of Mitford and those who live there. It is a small town that calls you to come and visit it and meet the people living there. Father Tim, the "bachelor rector", is the main character. He will acquire a dog and an unloved boy, meet an attractive neighbor, and catch a jewel thief, and that is just part of what will take place in book one of this delightful series. I look forward to reading more about this town in the following stories in this series. ( )
  judyg54 | Apr 6, 2020 |
Barnes & Noble serendipity, asked Ms. Karon to autograph copies of one of the series for Aunt Judy and Linda Tuttle; Lisa I. loves! ( )
  Tammyhil | Mar 18, 2020 |
This copy is currently in my possession from a free library.

What a delightful story! My mother used to read (and loved) anything by Jan Karon. Not sure I've read this one, am sure enjoying it.

This book was a pleasant surprise. There are lots of characters, but the characterizations are so clear that it was hard to forget any of them. I love the point of view, which is the narrator's view of Father Tim.

This is not a warm fuzzy story, although Mitford appears to be the perfect town. There are many ordinary and extraordinary difficulties with which the reader can identify. It is not a predictable story.

Already checked the next two books in the Mitford series out of the library. Great book -- great author. Highly recommended. Squeaky clean and very much faith-based, but not in the way I expected. I love the personal relationship with God angle for an Episcopalian priest. That surprised me. Enjoy! ( )
  thesilverofhisfining | Feb 17, 2020 |
OMG, I think I'm going to suffer from a terminal case of heartwarming-ness. I may just melt into a puddle, beginning from the inside. This book is not literature. It doesn't really deal with real people. It's a peaches and cream fantasy world. But it's fun enough for comfort reading, providing one has some semblance of grounding in traditional Christianity. I doubt people ignorant of traditional Christianity would find much of interest in this book.

My spouse rescued several books in this series from her mother's house and deposited them on the staircase. They seemed interesting enough to investigate, and besides, it gives my spouse great pleasure if I break down and read a dead-tree book now and again.

This particular book, the first in the series, deals with a bachelor Episcopalian priest, Father Tim, who lives in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. He encounters many "problems", but of course overcomes them all, thanks to the grace of God, and lives happily ever after. Well, we don't know that from this book, because the book ends with oodles of loose ends, loose ends which will only be tied up, if at all, in reading subsequent books in this quaint series (there are at least 10 of the damn things).

So, at the beginning of the book, a rather undisciplined and large dog imposes himself on Father Tim, then, after Father Tim becomes fond of the dog, said dog is snatched away by drug traffickers. He also is forced to take on a rather uncouth 11-year old, who is, naturally, a red head (the grandson of his indisposed sexton). Then the elderly rich lady in the parish needs to tell the story of her lost love. Oh yes, the vestry inflicts a housekeeper on him who has no idea how to go about finding a husband and a widow woman moves in next door who has very nice legs. Father Tim is enchanted by the widow woman despite having spent the previous 60 years being perfectly happy as a bachelor. Then, Father Tim gets diabetes. Oops, I forgot, things disappear in the church from time to time, like Father Tim's sandwich and the communion wine from the refrigerator. It turns out there's a jewell thief in the belfry, which is empty because the bells need repairing. Naturally the repair people aren't exactly on the ball, giving Father Tim yet another problem.

So, anyway, we have to resolve all these issues. But of course, we don't really because we need to have more books to work further through the resolution. My previous paragraph might have sounded a bit snarky, but I did like the book. But then I have spent too much of my life in Sunday School and in the choir loft, and also reading through the Bible, believe it or not. I was not convinced by the theology in this book. Not because I disagreed with it, per se, although it struck me as simple minded. But my real problem with the theology is that it felt more like Southern White Evangelical theology than like traditional Episcopalian theology. We have several miraculous "conversions" that come about by mere recitation of the sinner's prayer. We are overly supplied by obscure, out of context, Bible verses which solve one or another immediate problem. Even silly prayers get answered, almost immediately, because God has nothing better to do than to take care of minor details of our lives, and so on. Then too, several people just pick up a random Bible, begin reading it and get saved. Somehow, they were divinely lead to miss all the icky and tedious parts: like the story of Judah and Tamar; the problem of the Levite's concubine in Judges; the story of Lot, who is allegedly the only "righteous" person in Sodom, but who acts in most unrighteous ways as far as I can tell; how 'bout Elisha calling out a she bear to maul a bunch of adolescent boys; or page after boring page describing all the cubits and acacia wood and whatnot required for constructing proper altars, tabernacles, ... stuff; or the whole history of Sampson wherein you realize that he was really rather an asshole; or ... ?

This doesn't smack of the Episcopalianism I know. But, perhaps southern Episcopalians aren't so much different from Southern Evangelicals. The Nothern Episcopalians I know (e.g. my in laws) seem more like the Presbyterians and Congregationalists with whom I have hung out over my journey through life.

Anyway, it's a decent enough book if you're in for a spot of comfort reading and don't mind that nothing in the book reflects real people or the real world. My friend, Michael, would of course, dismiss this book as being "girly", which it surely is. No monsters or dragons or people wielding swords and so forth. But it was an adequate diversion for a few days. I'm not sure if I'll read another in the series or not. I expect they'll lie in state on the staircase while I decide. I have until next fall when the books all get donated to the church-fair book table.

update:
I guess I won't be reading another. My spouse banished the other books in this series to the attic, where I certainly won't be going anytime soon. ( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
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Dedication
For Candace Freeland, my daughter and friend
Candace Freeland (daughter and friend)
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He left the coffee-scented warmth of the Main Street Grill and stood for a moment under the green awning.
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Philippians 4:13, for Pete's sake.
Consider it done!
No rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need none.
Knitting, he thought, was a comfort to the soul. It was regular. It was repetitious. And in the end, it amounted to something.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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