Home to Holly Springs (Father Tim Series #1)

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Overview

With Home to Holly Springs, New York Times-bestselling author Jan Karon launches a new series, The Father Tim Novels, featuring the retired Episcopal priest that her readers have come to love. With all the deep feeling, insight, and humor that fans of the Mitford series cherish, Karon in this novel takes Father Tim on a journey to his hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi. A host of fascinating encounters with people along the way ensure that the trip is colorful, though as Father Tim arrives in response to a ...
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Home to Holly Springs (Father Tim Series #1)

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Overview

With Home to Holly Springs, New York Times-bestselling author Jan Karon launches a new series, The Father Tim Novels, featuring the retired Episcopal priest that her readers have come to love. With all the deep feeling, insight, and humor that fans of the Mitford series cherish, Karon in this novel takes Father Tim on a journey to his hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi. A host of fascinating encounters with people along the way ensure that the trip is colorful, though as Father Tim arrives in response to a mysterious summons, he may discover that home is where the heart is but also where secrets are hidden.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Come home." It takes only a two-word, unsigned note to call Father Tim Kavanaugh back to his Holly Springs, Mississippi, roots. And readers of Jan Karon's nine Mitford Years novels will require no greater prod than that to be drawn into this latest installment about this newly retired Episcopalian priest. Father Tim's return to his old stomping grounds brings with it heartwarming nostalgia but also the exposure of deeply buried secrets and the discovery of newfound friends. Could this be the timely arrival of a new Karon series?
Publishers Weekly

Karon's bestselling series of Mitford novels has concluded with 25 million copies sold to date, but to the relief of eager fans, she introduces a new series featuring Father Tim. The beloved Episcopal priest returns to his childhood town of Holly Springs, Miss., where he reconnects with old friends and battles some old demons. The novel is thick with Father Tim's past, as Karon uses flashbacks to shed light on his early adulthood, especially his transition to seminary. In Holly Springs, his penchant for getting near strangers to open up to him-and his earnest, moving reflections on faith, prayer and the risks of love-are reassuringly present. His wife, Cynthia, is on stage far less than he, but when she appears, she is charming and insightful, as usual. Yet the book is far from perfect. Development of the quirky locals in Holly Springs is thin, and the end is a tad abrupt. Most frustratingly, the central drama of the novel falls flat: Father Tim discovers a long-buried family secret, but he doesn't grapple deeply enough with the emotional consequences of his discovery, nor does Karon fully explore the ways in which the secret plunges us into the Southern quagmire of race. Still, Mitford fans will enjoy this newest visit with wise, winsome, lovable Father Tim. (Oct. 30)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
USA Today
Lovely . . . This is Karon's most emotionally complex novel.
The Washington Post
Mitford fans, rejoice! . . . Father Tim answers the summons—and learns that you can go home again.
The Atlanta Journal- Constitution
Karon holds varying aspects of humanity up to the light, from staggering cruelty . . . to the awesome power of love and forgiveness.
Kirkus Reviews
Far from Mitford and his beloved wife Cynthia, Father Tim Kavanagh enters unfamiliar emotional territory in the town of his birth. When he receives a letter postmarked Holly Springs, Miss., that contains a cryptic two-word message written in a precise, old-fashioned hand, Father Tim decides to answer its call and return to his birthplace for the first time in 38 years. On the long drive, he faces unanswered questions and half-forgotten memories: What happened to his boyhood chum and blood brother, Tommy? What caused his father's melancholy that bordered on cruelty? What happened to Peggy, the adored black caregiver who disappeared when he was 11? Who is trying to contact him, and why? As Father Tim awaits the letter writer, he is showered by blessings: He finds that his hometown has been beautifully restored, and he makes peace with an old flame. When the summons comes, it brings both joy and betrayal. He is reunited with his beloved Peggy, only to learn a terrible secret: She was carrying his father's child when she disappeared. When Peggy reveals that Henry, her son and Tim's half-brother, has leukemia and can only survive with a transfusion from a compatible sibling, Tim has to struggle to reach the decision he knows is right. In this setting away from home, we see Father Tim in a new light as he wrestles with his past and explores the origins of his religious convictions. The saga veers into magical theater as Karon (Cynthia Coppersmith's Violet Comes to Stay, 2006, etc.) ties up every loose end in Tim's past. But readers who miss Mitford's colorful eccentrics will be satisfied by Holly Springs's ample supply of quirky characters. Karon's deft interweaving of past and present infusesthe Mitford saga with new energy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670018253
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Series: Father Tim Series , #1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 375,409
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Karon

Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.

Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. “The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone’s speech. For Pete’s sake, hadn’t Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother’s exceedingly focused reproof, I’ve written books without cussin’ ever since.”

Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. “I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author,” she says.“I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk.”

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon’s heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon’s first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, “The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We’ve sold 10,000 of Jan’s books and don’t see any end to the Mitford phenomenon.”

Biography

Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.

Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."

Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Janice Meredith Wilson
    2. Hometown:
      Blowing Rock, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lenoir, North Carolina

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 128 )
Rating Distribution

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(70)

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(22)

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(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 129 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Father Tim's next challenge

    I opened "Home to Holly Springs" with such anticipation! I finally had Jan Karon's new book, it was a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon, I was in heaven. As I read, turning each page eagerly, I kept saying to myself, "Something exciting will happen soon, the next chapter will be more exciting." I was expecting this book to be like the Mitford books, but those familiar characters were not appearing. The new characters were not as likeable, and I didn't care too much about them. I tried to like them, but I found them a bit tiring. Two major characters with the same name! Who was who? Jan Karon, why? I struggled with the book, determined to finish it. Finally, Cynthia showed up and things began moving along! I was not surprised with the final "secret"; nor was I surprised with Father Tim's decision. Of course, he would! I do look forward to more Father Tim books. I just hope they will be more fun to read!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Reconciling ones past with the present

    This is a wonderful addition to the Father Tim stories! We get to see the events that made Father Tim the man he is. We also have the opportunity to see that negative events in our lives can lead to good instead of being used as excuses for failure and lack of ambition.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    Jan Karon's books are always a good read

    I loved getting to know Tim and his background. It was a very enjoyable book and I look forward to the next installment.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    superb

    This was just a wonderful book. Father Tim goes back to Holly Springs at age 70, and his boyhood suddenly comes alive in flashbacks to the deep south. A wonderful escape to another time and place, beautiful love story, wonderful surprise ending. Loved it, highly recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    If you loved Mitford, you'll love this book!

    I felt bereft when I finished the last novel in the Mitford series. So I was elated to discover that Jan Karon has continued Father Tim Kavanagh's adventures in a new series. If you read the Mitford novels, you know that Father Tim at times referred to an uneasy relationship with his own father. In this novel, Father Tim goes home to Holly Springs and confronts some demons from his past. This journey has mystery, humor, and characters that come to life on the page. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Home to Holly Springs fits this book to a T. Going home for Father Tim is also like going home for the reader.

    I have read all of the Mitford series and all the Christmas books; plus the cookbook. But, Home to Holly Springs takes us back to the beginning of Father Tim and his roots. In the process of this journey, the reader is also reminded of their own history. When Father Tim is reaquainted with an old flame and the memories involved with it, the reader has their own old memories. It is such a warm,fuzzy book. Thank you, Jan Karon.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    Just not the same ...

    I was very disappointed in this book after having loved all of her previous books. I could not wait to read the next. In this book, she seems to have changed. In previous books, she wrote more about her characters and their interaction. It almost seems as if someone told Ms. Karon to change her style and that she was becoming too formulaic. I think not but it seems she has gone out of her way to change . I couldn't follow the dialogue and couldn't figure out some of the insinuations. I must go back and read it again to figure out some of the characters. I do hope she gets back on track in the future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Just finished reading" Home to Holly Springs"for the 3

    Just finished reading" Home to Holly Springs"for the 3rd time! I Love it more and more! Miss Cynthia,but realize Father Tim needs to have this be his time.Having been born and raised in the south,I felt at home with the sights and smells so beautifully described.I read it again after finishing"In the Company of Others" for the 3rdtime as well! Can't wait for another "Father Tim"novel. Love them all!!!Thanks Jan Karon

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    audio book "reader"

    I love the audio books of the Mitford series and couldn't wait to listen to the next round of Father Tim. But I was very disappointed that a new reader was doing the book. The series really needs the other guy to do this series (and any other books on disc that he can, he is WONDERFUL)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2010

    The best book since To Kill a Mockingbird!

    Hands down, the best book since To Kill a Mockingbird!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Best of the series.

    My favorite of all the Mitford books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Pleased with another Jan Karon book

    I always enjoy Jan Karon's books and this one was no exception.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    What a good book A truly good story and emotional read. I highl

    What a good book

    A truly good story and emotional read. I highly recommend all the books in this series. I feel so good after reading these stories containing Father Tim. Some even make you want to shed a tear or two but you always leave the stories feeling like part of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Wonderful

    If you've read the Mitford series, this will give you a more indepth understanding of Father Tim.

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  • Posted March 30, 2013

    When the town of Mitford came into my life,I felt like all the c

    When the town of Mitford came into my life,I felt like all the characters where a part of my family.I started reading it around the 90's.I laughed till I cried, and cried till I laughted. I grieved for those I lost in Mitford and  those who found  love I cheered.After the first book ,I was hooked and wanted to meet the people who were fictitious.That was a town that I belonged in.I wanted to be with Father Tim in his church and rejoiced in his marriage along with Barnabas along with Dooley
    .Please bring Mitford back Please!!! I am 73 and i lived on those in Mitford.I told my husband before He passed that if Mitford were real I would have moved there after the 1st book . Please bring Mitfrod back Jan the world needs it and so do i. God Bless you and all the ones you were blessed with to help write the series about my dream town .I'll be looking for it in the best book shops  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    A bit of a disapointment after the Mitford Series

    This book contained too much content about Tim's bitterness and hurt toward his long deceased father. I thought that had already been dealt with in a previous book of the Mitford Series. This story contained more scandal than was usual for the Father Tim series and lacked some of the warm-heartedness. The ending was satisfactory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    X

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    Seventy-year-old Timothy Kavanaugh, the now retired Episcopalia

    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. 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    This is a very good book and it is so nicely written.

    I enjoyed the story of Father Tim's life as a child and all that went on with him. It really seems almost like he is a real live person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Disappointing

    I'm only half way through and can't make myself finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's Mitford series, but this is nothing like it. I find it to be slow, and the transitions from the present and past are sometimes hard to follow. The tone of the book is melancholic and rather depressing. Maybe the second half will redeem it but I'm not wasting my time to find out. Sorry.

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