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Esthers Gift [Hardcover]

Jan Karon
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 25 2004 Christmas in Mitford Gift
Readers flocked home to Mitford last Christmas, making The Mitford Snowmen a New York Times bestseller.

In Esther's Gift, Esther Bolick is filled with the holiday spirit as she prepares to bake the annual batch of her famous-and utterly scrumptious-orange marmalade cakes. Right after Christmas Eve service at Lord's Chapel, she and Gene will deliver a two-layer marmalade to each of seven friends and neighbors, all of them favorite Mitford characters. Then Gene calculates what it costs to bake this legendary cake, and Esther is stunned. Is it worth it to spend so much money on people who haven't always measured up to her expectations? The answer is clear. She'll cut her list back-way back.

This decision makes perfect sense until the lyrics of a Christmas carol steal into her heart, and help remind her what a gift really means.

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Product Details


Product Description

From Library Journal

Esther isn't so sure that she should spend so much time and money making her famous two-layer marmalade cake for holiday gifts but then she remembers the meaning of Christmas.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Jan Karon writes to "give readers an extended family and to applaud the extraordinary beauty of ordinary lives."

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
waddled in a pink chenille robe and wearing a mesh hair net, Esther Bolick lay sprawled in her recliner, staring at the ceiling. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The cake is a bust Dec 15 2003
Format:Hardcover
I have read every Mitford word. I gave this book to friends for Christmas thinking it would be a fun way to get started with her writing. When visiting my sister-in-law I spent a careful morning in the kitchen making the marmalade cake from the copy I gave her. Better move to Mitford and beg Esther to bake one for you because even the recipe is a disappointment. I think of myself modestly as a seasoned baker with 30 years experience. Perhaps Karon's publisher outsourced the job to a cakemix chemistry lab? I did all the painstaking steps and used all the top ingredients; something is off. Maybe Esther gave Father Tim a smudged recipe card? Karon is much better with theology than with the oven. I also feel ripped off by the "industry" of side items to the Mitford books. Let's stick with substantive stories and messages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy A Holiday Gift From Mitford Nov. 2 2002
Format:Hardcover
As the month of October ends with Thanksgiving right around the corner, our thoughts turn to the holidays celebrated in December. Jan Karon, the author of the highly successful Mitford seies, last year provided her readers with a Christmas story called The Mitford Snowmen. This year she provides us with an even more enjoyable story, Esther's Gift.
Esther Bolick is known far and wide for her orange marmalade cakes which she presents to Mitford friends as holiday gifts. But this year while thinking about buying doilies and the high cost for them, Esther asks her husband, Gene, to calculate the cost for each cake she prepares. Upon hearing the staggering amount of each cake including her labor, Esther begins to scratch names off her list of those she feels has either slighted her or can do without her cake. Then as she listens to the words of Christmas carols and imagine these people opening the door and receiving the cakes from her and her husband, Esther realizes the true spirit of giving during the holiday season. And within a few hours left Esther lovingly prepares these cakes which rest on the doilies she originally thought way too expensive. And then after Church, she and Gene go to deliver the cakes which are very much a part of the Mitford traditions.
This is an enjoyable short read. It will certainly appeal to the many readers who enjoy Jan Karon's books. And for those not familiar with the Mitford series it will serve as a nice introduction to both Mitford and the author Jan Karon. I suggest this as a lovely gift for the holidays or as an addition to any readers holiday books. And as an added treat Esther's recipe is included in the book. I hope you will prepare this cake to give to friends as gifts or will serve it in your homes during the holidays season. And as thoughts turn to shopping, wrapping, cooking and entertaining, I wish to all a happy and healthy holiday season.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good stocking stuffer Dec 17 2002
Format:Hardcover
It's difficult to rate a book such as this because it is only 37 pages long and takes a matter of minutes to read. It is recommended for fans of the Mitford Series, since readers will already be familiar with Esther Bolick, the main character, who bakes Mitford's favorite cake, The Orange Marmalade Layer Cake. Esther is contemplating her yearly baking schedule when she decides to have her husband Gene calculate the cost of each cake. She is appalled by the final figures, and vows to cut her giving list severely. As she listens to a Christmas carol, she begins to realize that the true cost of giving--and not giving--goes beyond monetary considerations.
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1.0 out of 5 stars What Happen ??? Jan. 12 2003
Format:Hardcover
What happen to the Jan Karon I used to love to read? Last year I was a little disappointed in THE MITFORD SNOMWAN but decided all of her books couldn't be perfect since the others were so great.However I was more disgusted than disapponted when I read this year's Christmas book.Personally this book was just a waste of time and money. There was no plot, no meaning. Please don't tell me the author is on her way out. Hopefully we will see more of the earlier Jan Karon-not anymore such as this one or the MITFORD SNOWMEN.Sorry to be so critical but that's the way I feel. Nex time I will be more selective before buying any more Jan Karon books.What a shame.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought.... Oct. 9 2003
Format:Hardcover
When I ordered the book I thought I was going to have a nice little Christmas read - you know, a warm-hearted story that speaks of the true nature of the season. Instead I received a tiny book that took less than 5 minutes to read - and a recipe.
I was disappointed, to say the least. I suppose I was mislead by the first few pages. This isn't worth buying unless you just want the recipe - which is really what you are getting. The author could have made a good story out of her idea - which then lead up to the recipe, but unfortunately seemed only interested in getting to the cake. I think this should be categorized under recipe books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Slice of Christmas Fun Dec 11 2002
Format:Hardcover
For those of you who have read the Mitford books, you know that Esther Bolick is the master baker who created the Orange Marmalade Cake. The cake's fame has spread far and wide and is baked for all the major social events in Mitford. For Esther to want to gift her friends with this masterpiece, therefore, is generosity unparalleled.
Once again Jan Karon has given us a warm personal glimpse into the activities of Mitford's residents at Christmas. I for one am delighted to set this little gem next to last year's "The Mitford Snowmen." Keep these tiny tastes of Mitford coming, Ms Karon! They do wonders for my Christmas spirit!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Things Come In Little Boxes....
Esthers' gift isn't a lengthy story...another in the Mitford Series. Yet, in it, I found another "chapter" of life in Mitford. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by BF
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable holiday tale
"Esther's Gift: A Mitford Christmas Story," by Jan Karon, is about Esther Bolick, who is getting ready to bake the orange marmalade cakes that she traditionally makes as... Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2003 by Michael J. Mazza
1.0 out of 5 stars Not much but a recipe.
If you are a fan of the Mitford books get this from the library if you care to read it. You won't need to check it out. It can be easily read in 10 minutes. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2003 by D. Sheff
5.0 out of 5 stars Jan Karon fans, we finally have the Orange Marmalade recipe.
This is a nice little Christmas book for all who love Father Tim and the Mitford citizens. Jan Karon finally shares Esther's famous Orange Marmalade cake recipe. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
I have been a great fan of Jan Karon & her novels. This book, however, was extremely disappointing. There was no plot or feeling of Christmas spirit. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars If a "0" star rating was possible...
DO NOT waste your money. Dull story that takes 15 minutes to read. Not at all interesting. The other Mitford books are worth rading, but not these short xmas... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2003 by Jacqueline R. Molenaar
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring Waste of Time
This was this first time I had read one of Mitford's books. While it is a quick read, it is also a dull and boring read -- not to mention a big waste of money. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Too short
I agree with other reviewers that this book is way too short for the money. I have read and re-read the Mitford books many times, but this was quite a disappointment for me. Ms. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2003 by Ann Baron
4.0 out of 5 stars A cute little book
Esther Bolick is renowned for her orange marmalade layer cake, which she makes each Christmas for a group of friends and relatives. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2002 by Kurt A. Johnson
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
I have never read a Mitford story and now I know why. I think this book was boring and had a really weak storyline. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2002 by Natalie
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