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Home to Holly Springs (Father Tim, Book 1) (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Jan Karon

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1,137447,196 (3.93)36
Member:BeFranks
Title:Home to Holly Springs (Father Tim, Book 1)
Authors:Jan Karon
Info:Viking Adult (2007), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Already Read
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (2007)

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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
A bit of a spoiler - don't read this review if you don't want the ending spoiled.

I like the Mitford, Father Tim books for their gentle, easy-going familiarity with a touch of humor. This one is a bit edgier, a bit darker, with ancient demons from Father Tim's childhood that he must meet and resolve. He is still the same Father Tim that we have come to know and love, and he bravely takes each discovery with prayer and grace. All the loose ends tie up neatly and Father Tim finds peace in his heart as he prepares to save the life of his new-found brother. ( )
  FancyHorse | Jan 3, 2014 |
I read this for a book discussion at work. I have never read Jan Karon before. I think my group will like it. The subject was interesting enough and maybe I was just not into the book and missed some things. I thought it was confusing and it switched from the present to the past, suddenly. Once he found Peggy I really enjoyed the book, just too much leading up to it. ( )
  dara85 | Nov 23, 2013 |
Fans of Karon's Mitford books who were sad to see them end will be pleased to find that there will be more of Father Tim and Cynthia, Dooley and Barnabas the dog. In this first of the "Father Tim" books, Tim receives a mysterious summons to Holly Springs, MS, his birthplace. As we know from the Mitford books, Tim had a somewhat dysfunctional background, and this book explains and adds to that. Numerous flashbacks illustrate his growing up in a segregated South. As always, there is new spiritual ground for Father Tim to break. There's almost too much coincidence and melodrama, but it's charming and well-done for all that. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
I have loved the Mitford books and Father Tim for many years. Some of the books have been a little slow in the middle of the story. But, I have always resonated with the real christianity that Tim tries so hard to live. He is more than the sum of his parts - he is human and God-filled. But, there is a dark and depressed side of Father Tim. A side that stays hidden much of the time. This is the book that explains it all. Here are the answers.

Tim travels by himself back to Holly Springs, Mississippi after receiving a letter - no name, nothing more. The letter simply asks him to come. And so he does, not having any idea why. He has a whole group of people to look for in Holly Springs - Willie with only one thumb, Tommy Noles his best friend and blood brother, Peggy, who raised him and Louis and Sally from the farm. His family has long since died - but their ghosts seem to surround Holly Springs.

What Tim finds is much, much more than he imagined. It is the story of a past of questions being answered. Not always the way he would have wanted them to be answered, but answered they are. In the midst of this search he also makes new friend, T and Ray who are restoring his old home, Red at the hardware store. Each of these fills a place for him.

The story also features Cynthia, his amazing wife and Dooley his adopted son.

It's been quite a while since I've read any of these stories -and I have to say - this is one of the best!
  kebets | Dec 31, 2012 |
Seventy-year-old Timothy Kavanaugh, the now retired Episcopalian minister of Jan Karon’s beloved Mitford series, who lives in Mitford, NC, with his wife, the former Cynthia Coppersmith, and their adopted son Dooley, receives a mysterious, unsigned letter postmarked Holly Springs, MS, which simply tells him to “Come home.” Cynthia has broken her ankle and Dooley is in college, so Tim hops in the car with his huge dog Barnabas and drives alone to Holly Springs, where he was born and raised but hasn’t been back in forty years. There he looks for long-lost friends, confronts the ghosts of the past, and wrestles with the demons of his upbringing. But will he ever find who wrote the note and what it is all about? And if he does, what will he do about it?
I read and enjoyed At Home in Mitford, the first of Karon’s Mitford series, but have not read any of the others which follow. However, when my wife bought this book, the first in Karon’s new Father Tim series, I decided to read it. While set in time subsequent to the last Mitford novel, it covers the early days of Tim and his family in Holly Springs via numerous flashbacks and reminiscences. USA Today says, “This is Karon’s most emotionally complex novel.” One could take “emotionally complex” as a synonym for “morally ambiguous.” At Home in Mitford, and I am told the other Mitford novels, have a certain light-hearted charm. Most reader-reviewers of Home to Holly Springs liked it, but a significant number of people who loved Mitford did not like this book because of its psychological nature, uneven narrative, lack of charm, tedious detail, and especially the stories of teenage sex, unwed pregnancy, attempted rape, and adultery. My wife was among those who did not care for it as well as the Mitford books.
Jan Karon is a good writer, and I found that the book has an interesting plot line, although it does drag a little at times. There are many positive aspects to it. However, one’s final decision about the book might hinge on how one views Tim’s reaction to learning about his father’s adultery. Does he feel that it’s something in the past that can’t be changed and he simply goes on from there without necessarily condoning what happened? Or does he come to believe that maybe the fact that his father found someone with whom he could show the love that he never gave Tim’s mother is just one of those facets of life and he shouldn’t be judgmental? I would like to think that it’s the former, but my wife concluded that it might have been the latter. Aside from this, there are a few instances of drinking whiskey. As to language, in addition to some common euphemisms and childish slang terms for body parts and functions, several references to the “s” word that was written on the water tower are found, although the word itself is never used, the words God and Lord are uttered a couple of times as interjections, and the “d” word modifies “Yankees” once and is part of the name of a mule owned by Tim’s childhood friend mentioned a number of times. The worst for me is that someone is said to be “white a**,” or to “kick a**,” or to be “bad a**,” or to be “hard a**,” or to be a “pain in the a**,” or to be a “rat’s a**,” or to say “my a**.” Karon may have chosen such language because she thinks that it makes her characters sound “authentic.” I think that it just makes them sound annoying. I like the fact that Tim is always acknowledging God and His grace, and the story does have a happy ending, but I think that it could have been told in a much better way. ( )
  Homeschoolbookreview | Mar 19, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670018252, Hardcover)

Readers of the nine bestselling Mitford novels have been captivated by Jan Karon?s ?gift for illuminating the struggles that creep into everyday lives?along with a vividly imagined world? (People). They learned quickly that ?after you?ve spent time in Mitford, you?ll want to come back? (Chicago Tribune). Millions eagerly awaited the publication of each novel, relishing the story of the bookish and bighearted Episcopal priest and the extraordinary fullness of his seemingly ordinary life.

Now, Jan Karon enchants us with the story of the newly retired priest?s spur-of-the-moment adventure. For the first time in decades, Father Tim returns to his birthplace, Holly Springs, Mississippi, in response to a mysterious, unsigned note saying simply: ?Come home.? Little does he know how much these two words will change his life. A story of long-buried secrets, forgiveness, and the wonder of discovering new people, places, and depth of feeling, Home to Holly Springs will enthrall new readers and longtime fans alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:31 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Lured by a mysterious note, recently retired Father Tim heads for his boyhood home of Holly Springs, Mississippi. But as memories flood his mind, he soon encounters a life-altering truth and receives a gift that could cost him everything.

(summary from another edition)

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