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A New Song: The Fifth Book in the Mitford Years Series [Paperback]

Jan Karon
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 6 2000
In A New Song, Mitford's longtime Episcopal priest, Father Tim, retires. However, new challenges and adventures await when he agrees to serve as interim minister of a small church on Whitecap Island. He and his wife, Cynthia, soon find that Whitecap has its own unforgettable characters: a church organist with a mysterious past, a lovelorn bachelor placing personal ads, a mother battling paralyzing depression. They also find that Mitford is never far away when circumstances "back home" keep their phone ringing off the hook. In this fifth novel of the beloved series, fans old and new will discover that a trip to Mitford and Whitecap is twice as good for the soul.

Frequently Bought Together

A New Song: The Fifth Book in the Mitford Years Series + Out to Canaan (The Mitford Years, Book 4) + A Common Life: The Sixth Book in the Mitford Years Series
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.54

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  • Out to Canaan (The Mitford Years, Book 4) CDN$ 11.55

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Product Description

From Amazon

As if being a priest in this day and age isn't difficult enough, try shepherding two parishes, located hundreds of miles apart, at the same time. A predicament of biblical proportions indeed, but one the indomitable Father Tim Kavanaugh and his cheerful wife, Cynthia, can handle, with a little help from the Lord--not to mention their friends--in Jan Karon's A New Song, the fifth installment in her much-loved Mitford series. When asked to act as interim minister for a tiny island parish in North Carolina's Outer Banks, the recently retired Father heeds the call, all the while trusting in a divine master plan: "He had prayed that God would send him wherever He pleased, and when his bishop presented the idea of Whitecap, he knew it wasn't his bishop's bright idea at all, but God's."

From the more routine duties of settling into a new church to dealing with a number of deeper domestic issues--including a single mother's spiral into depression and a reclusive next door neighbor in need of kindness--Father Tim's new parish presents a welcome challenge. All the while, of course, the folks back home keep him informed of goings-on in Mitford--the biggest being the recent arrest of Dooley Barlowe, a mountain boy whom Father Tim had taken into his home and heart five years earlier. As in past Mitford episodes, things have a way of working themselves out, but not before Father Tim and his accompanying cast learn a few more valuable lessons about life. Full of the homey atmosphere and heartwarming truths--not to mention the endearingly quirky characters--that are Karon's trademark, A New Song is a delightful celebration of the communal ties that bind. --Stefanie Hargreaves --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In this fifth volume of Karon's popular series (Out to Canaan, etc.) set in the quaint North Carolina town of Mitford, where people chuckle and say "dadgummit," Father Timothy Kavanagh is leaving town for a post-retirement interim appointment at a small island parish off the coast of North Carolina. After what seems (even to the minister and his wife) to be an endless round of good-byes, he and his wife, Cynthia, set off in a brand-new red convertible. Stormy weather, which closes in on them as they near Whitecap Island, presages the many struggles to come. Once on the island, Fr. Tim tries to befriend a seemingly hostile and isolated neighbor while he and Cynthia take over the care of a three-year-old boy whose mother is suffering from depression. Back in Mitford, meanwhile, Dooley, the mountain boy who is like a son to Fr. Tim, is thrown into jail, and the quiet woman who seemed the perfect tenant for the rectory house surprises the minister with a lawsuit. Additionally, an unexpected storm moves in off the ocean with devastating force. Karon adds a dash of suspense to her homey brew with the increasingly suspicious behavior of Fr. Tim's tenant, whose story emerges in a compelling confession. Newcomers to the series may find they have much to catch up on, but readers making a return trip to the Kavanaghs' world will be happily swept up in the maelstrom of small-town and spiritual drama that characterizes the novel. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club super release; Crossings Book Club main selection; Penguin audio; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Dappled by its movement among the branches of a Japanese cherry, the afternoon light entered the study unhindered by draperies or shades. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Since Her First One Sept. 17 2003
My wife and I have read each of Karon's Mitford books aloud to each other over the past few years. I enjoyed this book more than I had the previous two in the series. I think that the new locale and the fresh characters really breathed new life into the series. I know from book blurbs that the next installments of the series will be returning to Mitford. I almost wish the author would spend another book in Whitecap, the setting of this book.
Mitford is not abandoned; some storylines continue, including those of Buck Leeper and Dooley Barlowe. But Whitecap Island and its residents have a distinctness that whetted my appetite for more. There was a pleasing authenticity to the descriptions of the island community, and I enjoyed discovering it alongside Father Tim. From 'Ernie's Books Bait, & Tackle' to St. John's in the Grove, this is a fascinating place to visit. In St. John's, Father Tim is introduced to church politics of quite a different sort from his experience with the Mitford church. And the conversations in Ernie's shop are some of the best dialogue Karon has written.
If there is one disappointment for me with this book, it is that Karon couldn't resist the temptation to resolve a neat ending for the Jeffrey Tolson character. Sometimes it's better to let the readers speculate about the fate of secondary characters, and I think this was a perfect case for just that sort of a vague or unstated ending.
If anyone wondered whether the author had enough creativity to go beyond Mitford, I think this book provides an affirmative answer. In my opinion this is the best book since her first one (_At Home in Mitford_)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy gentle reading Dec 11 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Books by Jan Karon are excellent bedtime reading. No violence. Just good wholesome reading. Her characterizations enable the reader to clearly envision Father Tim and his wife, Cynthia and all the those that their lives touch. Delightful!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book! Dec 5 2003
Another great book as usual! Too bad there aren't more books like her's. Don't we all wish we lived in Mitford! Great Bible quotes, great friendships and a little love splashed in somewhere!
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2.0 out of 5 stars very unplausible stories Aug. 12 2003
By C. Hill
With each passing book, the story lines seem to get thinner and thinner, which is why, I suppose, Karon decided to uproot the preacher and his wife and move them to an island 600 miles away from Mitford. A change of scenery to introduce some new people and stories. Still, it seems the main character spends most of his time either praying or saying "consider it done." The characters seem to lack depth and almost everyone is perfect. And the people who aren't perfect still get to have happy endings. The things that make for a good story - a character who wants something and is trying to get it against all odds, a plot that has a climax, a believable antagonist and protagonist, etc. - are lacking in this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A New Song is a breath of fresh air July 14 2003
Good for Father Tim and Cynthia. Cynthia finally got Father Tim to venture out beyond the great town of Mitford! They didn't get off to the best start with the massive storm on the way to their new home, but all turned out good. Poor Johnathan gets a wonderful loving home while the town takes care of his mommy and I think that was probably my favorite part. I loved how Cynthia, not being a mom herself did such a wonderful job with a sad little boy who wants nothing but his mommy back. This book had such heart to it. A very good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle soap opera July 2 2003
By HopeP
The series are all gentle soap operas which are non-offensive to all readers. Nothing to be embarrassed about sharing with your mother. I liked this one the best because the main character and his wife get to go somewhere new. Whitecap sounded like a great place to spend some time and the townfolk were funny and likeable. Too bad the Pastor moves back to Mitford in the next book(s).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Mitford Read~ March 30 2003
Every time I open another Mitford book, it is like going home again. As always, Karon paints a picture of comfort, quaintness, and pure delight in her town and all of it's characters.
In this fifth installment, Father Tim and Cynthia are headed to Whitecap, a little island on the coast where Father Tim will serve as an interim pastor in this new town. Here you will meet a new set of characters, as Father Tim & Cynthia meet the community of Whitecap. Beloved Mitford is still in the picture, as were are kept up to speed with its goings-on, as everyone from Emma to Dooley call in to check on Tim & Cynthia.
As always, Father Tim steps in to help the town of Whitecap with the ups and downs of life that it's members come across while not forgetting about his friends and loved ones back in Mitford. In A New Song, Father Tim will reach out to a town recluse, Morris Love, who lives in the neighboring mansion, next to Dove Cottage, where Father Tim and Cynthia are staying. Cynthia also steps in as a surrogate mom for a brief time, to little Jonathan, who's mother is recovering from an emotional breakdown. As the stories unfold, you'll find yourself loving the new set of townsfolk, and continuing to love the old ones. Of course, the ending of A New Song, leaves you wanting for more~
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Mitford Goody! Dec 12 2002
Recently retired after years of serving as the rector of Lord's Chapel, Father Tim is going to agree to pastor a small parish off the Atlantic coast. There's one big problem though: How can he and Cynthia leave the town, and the boy they love?
Soon however, the charming island of Whitecap rveals its own cast of unforgettable characters. There is a lovelorn bachelor trying his hand at personal ads, a church organist with a past,a gifted musician who never ventures beyond his gate for some reason or other, and a young mom who struggles terribly with paralyzing depression.
Mitford is never far from Father Tim and Cynthia's mind-especailly when Dooley gets in some trouble with the law.
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