Customer Reviews for

At Home in Mitford (Mitford Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Marred by Divorce & Remarriage

After my wife and 15-year-old daughter enjoyed the Mitford Chronicles so much, I promised to read the first volume in order to be able to substantively discuss Mitford life with my womenfolk. I have finally finished 'At Home in Mitford' and thought others might be ma...

After my wife and 15-year-old daughter enjoyed the Mitford Chronicles so much, I promised to read the first volume in order to be able to substantively discuss Mitford life with my womenfolk. I have finally finished 'At Home in Mitford' and thought others might be marginally interested in a masculine perspective on the book.

First, I have to say that it was somewhat less than absorbing. My wife and daughter finish one of these 350-page books in 2 or 3 days, whereas it took me several months. And the difference is due to something other than reading speed. In fact, for a while I thought that my 13-year-old son's comment after reading the book jacket, 'That's all I need to know about Mitford,' was pretty close to the mark.

After working on the book for several weeks and not seeing anything happen, I asked my wife for an outline of the plot. Her answer: 'There is no plot. It's just the meanderings of small town daily life.' This was difficult to absorb! I wondered (to myself), 'Why would anyone want to write about such a thing? And if one did, who would want to read it? And if one read it, how could one in good conscience inflict it on someone else?' Nevertheless, I persevered.

That said, however, I must admit, upon finally finishing, that it was a good book; I even enjoyed it. After coming to terms with Father Tim not being an Indiana Jones type, I was able to appreciate his life and 'adventures,' such as they are. And he does have some adventures. Shootings, drug dealers, and international jewel heists somehow make their way into the book. The book is also packed with dry humor; I found Father Tim and his countrymen a hilarious bunch of characters. I hope they were not insulted by my laughter. Possibly my familiarity with small town Southern life contributed to my enjoyment of their daily tribulations.

The book is set in quaint little Mitford, North Carolina, the parish of Father Tim Kavanaugh, an Episcopal priest who was raised as a Baptist. Father Tim is a solitary, but contentedly cheerful, sexagenarian bachelor recently diagnosed with diabetes. We see Mitford through his eyes and thoughts. Father Tim has a strong commitment to the people of his parish, and he, in turn, is beloved by them. The supporting characters appear as genuine people whom the reader gradually comes to know through natural, unforced dialogues and the author's original descriptions of daily activities.

I especially appreciated author Jan Karon's portrayal of authentic Christian faith and the application of such faith to everyday life. She does it in a frank, non-preachy way which I found uncommonly attractive and strikingly effective. Her presentation of Biblical theology is for the most part sound and accurate. The book is more effective than most standard evangelistic tracts in winsomely presenting authentic biblical faith in the Creator. She uses believably realistic accounts of normal people's joys and sorrows to depict the reality of life with God in a broken world.

My one serious criticism is that Cynthia Coppersmith, Father Tim's neighbor and emerging love interest, is divorced. It was disconcerting to have to change my view of the Tim-Cynthia romance upon learning of her marital status. After all, how can one 'root for' a developing relationship which the Son of God identifies as adultery? ('Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.' Luke 16:18) Their illegitimate romance leaves a bitter taste in the reader's mouth.

I strongly object to the books' implicit approval of remarriage after divorce. The Mitford Chronicles are for the most part so wholesome that the commendatory presentation of the Tim-Cynthia relationship desensitizes people to the seriousness of divorce and serves as a persuasive voice to legitimize remarriage after divorce. Due to the nature of the books, most people will find Karon's im

posted by Anonymous on March 17, 2000

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

dog lover

I am sorry I cant like any book that starts out with someone beating a dog, and thinking nothing of it.

posted by Anonymous on September 21, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2000

    Marred by Divorce & Remarriage

    <P>After my wife and 15-year-old daughter enjoyed the Mitford Chronicles so much, I promised to read the first volume in order to be able to substantively discuss Mitford life with my womenfolk. I have finally finished 'At Home in Mitford' and thought others might be marginally interested in a masculine perspective on the book. <p>First, I have to say that it was somewhat less than absorbing. My wife and daughter finish one of these 350-page books in 2 or 3 days, whereas it took me several months. And the difference is due to something other than reading speed. In fact, for a while I thought that my 13-year-old son's comment after reading the book jacket, 'That's all I need to know about Mitford,' was pretty close to the mark. <P>After working on the book for several weeks and not seeing anything happen, I asked my wife for an outline of the plot. Her answer: 'There is no plot. It's just the meanderings of small town daily life.' This was difficult to absorb! I wondered (to myself), 'Why would anyone want to write about such a thing? And if one did, who would want to read it? And if one read it, how could one in good conscience inflict it on someone else?' Nevertheless, I persevered. <P>That said, however, I must admit, upon finally finishing, that it was a good book; I even enjoyed it. After coming to terms with Father Tim not being an Indiana Jones type, I was able to appreciate his life and 'adventures,' such as they are. And he does have some adventures. Shootings, drug dealers, and international jewel heists somehow make their way into the book. The book is also packed with dry humor; I found Father Tim and his countrymen a hilarious bunch of characters. I hope they were not insulted by my laughter. Possibly my familiarity with small town Southern life contributed to my enjoyment of their daily tribulations. <P>The book is set in quaint little Mitford, North Carolina, the parish of Father Tim Kavanaugh, an Episcopal priest who was raised as a Baptist. Father Tim is a solitary, but contentedly cheerful, sexagenarian bachelor recently diagnosed with diabetes. We see Mitford through his eyes and thoughts. Father Tim has a strong commitment to the people of his parish, and he, in turn, is beloved by them. The supporting characters appear as genuine people whom the reader gradually comes to know through natural, unforced dialogues and the author's original descriptions of daily activities. <P>I especially appreciated author Jan Karon's portrayal of authentic Christian faith and the application of such faith to everyday life. She does it in a frank, non-preachy way which I found uncommonly attractive and strikingly effective. Her presentation of Biblical theology is for the most part sound and accurate. The book is more effective than most standard evangelistic tracts in winsomely presenting authentic biblical faith in the Creator. She uses believably realistic accounts of normal people's joys and sorrows to depict the reality of life with God in a broken world. <P>My one serious criticism is that Cynthia Coppersmith, Father Tim's neighbor and emerging love interest, is divorced. It was disconcerting to have to change my view of the Tim-Cynthia romance upon learning of her marital status. After all, how can one 'root for' a developing relationship which the Son of God identifies as adultery? ('Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.' Luke 16:18) Their illegitimate romance leaves a bitter taste in the reader's mouth. <P>I strongly object to the books' implicit approval of remarriage after divorce. The Mitford Chronicles are for the most part so wholesome that the commendatory presentation of the Tim-Cynthia relationship desensitizes people to the seriousness of divorce and serves as a persuasive voice to legitimize remarriage after divorce. Due to the nature of the books, most people will find Karon's im

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    dog lover

    I am sorry I cant like any book that starts out with someone beating a dog, and thinking nothing of it.

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2012

    What?

    This book is so unorganized! It jumps from thought to thought, to the point that I feel like I have skipped a page. The story might have been cute if it didn't feel totally out of place in it's setting (think Irish Country Village set in small town America) I think I'll skip the rest of this series.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Good reading but a little slow

    I only read three quarters the first book in this series. It was good reading, but just a little slow to the point that I did not finish it. I doubt that I will be reading the compete series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Delightful!

    I love all the Mitford stories and characters. You'll laugh and cry and wish you lived inthis Mayberryesque burg.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    Recommend

    Simple lives, simple people living in simple town. A quirky entertaining read. Don't know if I,ll read the other books in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    Dont confuse this with the Engish Mitford and Miss Read books

    Inspirational village cozy series of two that I had never read for those tired of grafic violence and sex (violent and grafic) will let you rest before the next best seller or nook freebie. Page counter

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    If you love feel good books, this is a must. I am now reading the second book and can't wait to get started on the 3rd. I love Father Tim, watching the human side of the clergy is something we seem to forget they are, Human.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review title: Marvelous Mitford. Our protagonist, Father Tim, is

    Review title: Marvelous Mitford.
    Our protagonist, Father Tim, is rather charming, delight-filled, and down-to-earth. You'll probably &quot;fall in love&quot; with Barnabas, what a true friend. This small town parish story is sure to amuse and entertain you if you enjoy novels about the Christian faith and how the love of God is revealed in the lives of God's people. You will feel &quot;at home in Mitford&quot; as you read about this congregation and this wonderfully &quot;spun&quot; tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    Definitely recommend

    Very refreshing, nice book. Humorous and uplifting at the same time. Will read # 2

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    An interesting look at small town life

    This a quaint walk through the life of an Episcopalian priest and the people of his parish. I am actually surprised at how much I am enjoying this book as it does not fit my normal choice of reading material, but I am very glad that I took the recommendation and picked it up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    Perfect Gift

    I bought this for a 91 year old aunt who is still a voracious reader. I read the entire Mitford series years ago and loved every one of Karon's books. They have humor, a little intrigue and a lot of love and hominess. They feature "any town" complete with a varied cast of characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    I would recommend this

    This was good, well written, kind of religious, the good kind that comes natural, not fake like, funny in spots, etc. kept me interested and that's what counts :)

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    good light read

    This is typical of its genre...an easy read with likable characters and a serene setting. I normally read crime and mystery and this was a nice break from them. I would recommend it to those who like Christian fiction and an easy read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Amazing

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Wonderful Series

    I have read 5 out of 9 books in this series. I have no doubt as to the fact that I will read the rest. Read the Mitford Series today!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Jan Karon reveals an intimate portrait of the Mitford town, its residents, and especially Father Tim--a delightful read with words of wisdom for our everyday lives.

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    I often heard my sister talk about Father Tim, so I asked her if

    I often heard my sister talk about Father Tim, so I asked her if I could borrow them, not thinking that I would like them. But after the first few pages I was hooked and read the entire Mitford Series and Father Tim Books. I absolutely love them, and will read them again. I read them so fast, as I could not put them down. I looked forward to going to bed at night just so I could read. Jan Karon is an excellent writer, not just a story teller, she transports you with her descriptions and gets you into each characters life. I miss them, I love the inspirational quotes Father Tim uses. I have been looking for another series like this but have not come up with any. Read them you will not be disappointed!!!

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining and Spiritually Uplifting!

    I read the Mitford series every 5 years or so. I just finished this, the first book, and enjoyed it tremendously, as always. The story is interesting, the characters are loveable, and it is spirtually uplifting. I must go and get started on the next book in the series...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Excellent.

    I am so happy after reading this book. I know I am a bit behind the times but I just loved it. Needs to be a Mitford movie. On to the next one. My summer reading series!

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