In This Mountain Paperback – Apr 29 2003
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Father Tim Kavanagh and his wife, Cynthia, return from Whitecap Island to "the little town with the big heart" in Jan Karon's seventh novel in the bestselling Mitford series, In This Mountain. Retirement holds challenges Father Tim hasn't anticipated, and even as Cynthia's career as a children's book author and illustrator brings her new accolades, he finds himself dogged by health troubles and dissatisfaction with the way his life is turning out. However, the beloved villagers of Mitford are on hand to offer support and humor through every crisis, and a few new characters are introduced to keep interest in the series fresh. Throughout the tale, Karon folds in themes of grace and forgiveness, and offers hope for even the most difficult situations. Fans will be delighted to find that this installment of the series is full of the engaging descriptions and charming depiction of life in Mitford that first won Karon the loyalty of legions of readers. --Cindy Crosby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Mitford, N.C., will rejoice over this anticipatedfull-length seventh installment in the bestselling series, especiallythose disappointed with its shorter, rather lightweight predecessor, ACommon Life. Although this offering is permeated with Karon'strademark charm, the plot isn't all sweetness and light. Three yearshave passed since Father Tim Kavanagh and his wife, Cynthia, returnedto Mitford from Whitecap Island, and depression and discontent aregnawing away at the good cleric as he faces the big "7-0." AsCynthia's career reaches new heights, Father Tim makes some personaldecisions that lead to tragedy. But never fear - although Karonstrikes some somber notes, she avoids becoming heavy-handed. Devotedreaders will find the same appealing characters and enchanting writingthat originally won them to the series. edith Mallory is up to her oldtricks, plotting her seduction of Father Tim, and haircut wars arefought between barber Joe Ivey and stylist Fancy Skinner. Convictedjewel thief George Gaynor returns to the series after his release fromjail; something new is cooking down at the Main Street Grill; andDooley Barlowe learns the ropes of romance even as he agonizes over asearch that may turn up his lost father and brothers. Karon more fullyfleshes out two of the series' minor characters, Helene Pringle andHope Winchester, and introduces newcomer Millie Tipton, awise-cracking Methodist preacher who fits comfortably into townlife. Homespun dialogue, fresh and lively descriptions, laugh-out-loudmoments and poignant scenes mark the heartfelt book, which is a happyreunion for Mitford devotees.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Moles again! Father Tim Kavanagh stood on the front steps of the yellow house and looked with dismay at the mounds of raw earth disgorged upon his frozen March grass. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
all takes control when he really needs to let go.
Also recommended: Bark of the Dogwood and Three Junes
But even more wearing is the author's need for an editor. I believe that it's difficult for authors to see their own bad habits. That's why there are editors. And I think Penguin/Viking Books has failed Karon in this area. Karon has a habit of repeatedly using little turns of phrase that were maybe cute once or twice, but after dozens of uses they are just annoying.
In a couple of the previous books, the phrase that really stood out to me was "..., meaning it." For example, on p.373 of this book, "'I'm sorry,' [Father Tim] said, meaning it." Sincerity is a valued characteristic in these books and in life. But there must be various ways of describing it. When that phrase keeps turning up, I am no longer struck by the character's feelings, but by my own annoyance.
In this book the description that came up so often I gritted my teeth every time I saw it was: 'thumped down.' I didn't count, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was used as many fifty times. People 'thumped down' on chairs, benches, sofas etc so many times I was wondering if anyone had a sore butt.
I like Karon's community that she dreamed up. I loved her first book. Series fans will no doubt be offended by my opinion, but I think she needs to take a break for her own creativity's sake.
However! I take it Ms. Karon has an editor, and while I know that one of the most thankless tasks on earth must be the editing of a highly successful author...if Ms. Karon uses as verbs the words "crow" or "relish" ONE MORE TIME I will personally drown her in a vat of wisteria eau de toilette!
The two largest criticisms of her work in general, and I think we can safely say in this book in particular, are Karon's propensity to be precious...suffocatingly precious...and her use of the good Lord to solve all the problems that prove a bit too taxing for her storytelling skills.
In this novel, Father Tim suffers not only a crisis of the soul, but clinical depression. While Karon describes the disease very well indeed, she hands off the cure to a convenient religious revelation, which sells short the real life experience of this condition. It strikes me as vastly unwise to suggest that God will send a cure in the absence of prescribed medication (Father Tim ditches his for no good reason) or skilled therapy (Father Tim gets none...a rather damning omission on Dr. Hoppy's part, I thought).
The book could also have benefited enormously from another 50 pages or so, delving into the minds of those around Father Tim. Dooley goes through some major stuff off screen, as does the Bishop, Cynthia...jeepers, everybody.
The stuff here is good, and don't miss the wonderful diatribe against those who spurn cake-eating, but Ms. Karon needs to pull out the stops and give these books the much better shot I am sure she is capable of.
In the little town of Mitford, life hums along. Dooley looks toward his career as a vet. Joe Ivey and Fancy Skinner fight a haircut price war that takes no prisoners. Percy steps out on a limb with a risky new menu item at the Grill. Uncle Billy feels pressure to produce a surefire joke, and 'The Man in the Attic,' returns to Mitford as the town holds its breath to see what happens.
Though Father Tim dislikes change, he dislikes retirement even more. His wife wins awards, receives bouquets, gets invited to tour the country. What's he doing? Father's health with his diabetes takes a turn for the very worse when he is neglectful taking his medicine. This bad spell leaves him in the throes of depression and sadness. To top it all off, Edith Mallory, who absolutely despises Father Tim, gives him more problems.
Finally, he snaps out of his depression, and decides to take on a unique and difficult ministry. This makes him feel more energized than ever before.
The book was a dandy one as all the preceding ones before it. I couldn't put it down once I started it.
Most recent customer reviews
this series of books are wonderful, safe to read for any age. They make you feel like you are right there and you know each character personally. Read morePublished 20 months ago by joan rice
I love the Mitford series. I love the minister and his inspiring words. I love to hear about his friends and his wife and her new books. Read morePublished on July 20 2012 by Avid reader
I grew up in a small town back in the 60's and 70's and I raised my own children in the same small town. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Amazon Customer
I just truly love family sagas. I like the tales that take you on an emotional ride and never let's up. Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by Esmerelda M. Sanchez
Very much like A LIGHT IN THE WINDWOW, I found this book equally as enjoyable. Even if you haven't lived in a small town you'll be able to "get into" this book. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2004
My dad was the review I first read. This book I think is the best one in the series. Ties in all the things from the first book! I loved it.. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by Tonya Speelman
I've liked Karon's Mitford books, but this one was almost too much. Must EVERY exchange between Tim and his friends include, "Im praying for you," and "And Im... Read morePublished on Sept. 28 2003
While I have enjoyed the other Mitford books, if I've had any complaint it is that the stories are a little too pat and everyone is a bit too cute. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2003