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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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Things Come In Little Boxes.... Dec 21 2003
Esthers' gift isn't a lengthy story...another in the Mitford Series. Yet, in it, I found another "chapter" of life in Mitford. The true 'meaning' of Christmas' which touched my soul. If you keep in mind this book is a 'small' piece of the Mitford life...you'll be thrilled beyond your wildest dreams! I plan to 'try' the cake. Perhaps as some have been 'dissappointed' in it...it 'may' be a 'ficticious recipe'... one that sounds like a real one for the book. It's a 'dandy' of a cake in Mitford...but Jan Karon didn't promise us (anywhere that I read) that it would win a prize at the State Fair! It's a MUST for your collection!
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable holiday tale Nov. 19 2003
"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 Christmas gifts. But economic pressures force her to reevaluate the tradition.
This is a sweet, charming tale that is nicely enhanced by colorful illustrations. The text includes an actual recipe for orange marmalade cakes.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought.... Oct. 9 2003
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Not much but a recipe. Sept. 7 2003
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. If you have never read the mitford books but want to DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS. Unless you are familiar with her characters nothing about this ultra short story will be in the least interesting. I know them well and found it only barely diverting. I made it and the much talked about cake is every bit as good as the build up. But if you wish to make it get it from the library and spend the 10 bucks on a book that REALLY IS A BOOK!! This sad to say is a recipe.
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By A Customer
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. Remember the one that Father Tim loves, that was the special cake served at the reception when he and Cynthia were married. It's also the cake that almost ended his life. This is a must-have book for the true Jan Karon collector.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment Jan. 20 2003
By A Customer
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. Too short, no depth of character, wonderful recipe that I will never bake.
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1.0 out of 5 stars What Happen ??? Jan. 12 2003
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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