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Out to Canaan (Mitford) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Length: 371 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Mix one part All Creatures Great and Small with two parts Lake Wobegon, sprinkle a little Anne of Green Gables and get: Mitford, the pinnacle of provincial life, where homespun wisdom, guarded tradition, and principled faith are the precepts of good living. Jan Karon, purveyor of so-called "gentle fiction," continues the series that began with At Home in Mitford, in Out to Canaan. The patriarch of the tightly bound community of Mitford, North Carolina, is Father Timothy Kavanaugh, a.k.a. legal counsel, psychologist, foster parent, headhunter, husband, political analyst, and rector of his congregation. He is always there to lend a helping hand, a kind word or bit of advice, which believe it or not, makes for an incredibly busy schedule in this quiet, country town.

Longtime mayor Esther Cunningham, revered for preserving the traditions of the town, finds a formidable foe in Mack Stroupe, a free-spending industrialist who stands for the two most reviled words in Mitford: change and development. If that isn't enough, a suspicious company called "Miami Development" wants to buy Sadie Baxter's home--a Mitford landmark--and turn it into a hoity-toity spa. Father Tim has his hands full again with Dooley, his foster child who is back from prep school for the summer. The good rector continues to doctor Dooley's troubled past by locating his siblings, Poohbaw and Jessie, and finding their alcoholic mother, Pauline, work. The plethora of intricately woven, cozy vignettes makes Out to Canaan a potpie of warm, country reading. --Rebekah Warren

From Library Journal

Though facing retirement, Father Tim Kavanagh hasn't slowed down one bit since his appearance in These High, Green Hills (Viking, 1996). Racing from one good deed to another, Father Timothy takes in stray sick folk, finds an abandoned child, and helps his favorite baker write a winning jingle. A mayoral race pitting the long-time mayor Esther Cunningham against the possibly corrupt Mack Stroupe makes for some colorful sparring. Father Timothy applies his own unique, time-honored method of intuition, prayer, or dietary indulgence to a multitude of problems big and small. His late-in-life marriage to Cynthia continues to be a blessing readers will feel privileged to share. Distinguished by their rare tone of kindness, Karon's Mitford novels create instant warmth and coziness. Out to Canaan continues in this spirit, offering comedy and consolation to all. For most fiction collections.
-?Keddy Ann Outlaw, Harris Cty. P.L., Houston, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2235 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (April 1 1998)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OCXI12
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The Mitford Series is a collection of incredibly simple books about small town life. Told from the point of view of a preacher in a mythical town in the hills of North Carolina. Everybody knows everybody else, and not much happens. These are the perfect books to curl up with for some summer porch or beach reading.
Like life the plots are winding and not necessarily purposeful but by the end of the stories your can think back and realize how things developed to an inevitable conclusion. You basically follow a 60 year old preacher through his travails. Since he is a Christian man there is quite bit of bible quotation, but otherwise the story is not about his church so much as his efforts to keep life in order and cope with being recently married man, past his youth yet surrounded by a small town that loves him - sometimes too closely.
One warning..this is very much a "sweet" book. It challenged me to forgo my natural skepticism. I put this in the category of a read that won't tax the reader all but may instead impart a little smile.
Also be aware that a stong Christian message plays throughout much of the dialogue and thinking.
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Format: Paperback
I'm gonna get flamed for this review; I might even lose my status as a "Top 1000" reviewer. But somebody has to tell the truth about this book.
This is apparently a continuation of a series of books about the little town of Mitford, North Carolina. Mitford supposedly has a population of only a thousand, although there are many more businesses and churches than a town of that size would realistically have.
The main character is the longtime rector of the Episcopal Church in Mitford, who is valiantly trying to solve the problems of at least a dozen people. Those attempts are complicated by his own personal and family problems, as well as some political divisions within the town.
Without exception, every attempt to solve every problem is successful. The rector confidently places his trust in the Lord, and remarkable coincidences save the day in every case.
The naiveté of this book is breathtaking. Karon seems to believe that good intentions will always be rewarded, whether you are trying to reform an alcoholic, raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for your church, teach a teenager how to drive, or build a marriage between two people who remained single well into their fifties. Has Karon's life really been like that, or has she been sleepwalking since birth? The rector doesn't even have to break a sweat to solve every problem and rescue every soul in town. No one ever resents his attempts to intrude into their lives. He never has to deal with the often-agonizing issue of where to draw the line between supporting people and teaching them to support themselves.
The religious aspect of the book is not heavy-handed, but the preposterous naiveté of the author's viewpoint applies to religion as well.
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Format: Paperback
Father Tim Kavanaugh, the ever-stuck-in-the-mud pastor of the Episcopalian Lord's Chapel, has finally decided, with his wife's help, to make some big changes. His good friend, Bishop Stuart Cullen, comes to the Chapel to announce that Father Tim plans to retire in eighteen months.
Father Tim soon realizes that a year and a half is not nearly long enough to complete the tasks the Lord has given him in Mitford. He must sell Miss Sadie's grand mansion which she willed to the church, ensure that Hope House is running a tight ship for the elderly, and find him and his wife a new place to live. Not to mention, a slightly shady real estate agency is trying to make questionable deals throughout Mitford, and a new candidate is trying to oust Esther Cunningham from her long-held spot taking care of Mitford's own as its mayor.
These grand happenings are, as always, secondary to the interpersonal relationships that are always on Father Tim's mind. His foster son, Dooley, is maturing; and two other young girls are brought into his life. Buck Leeper, the abrasive constructin foreman, may be ready to make some changes; and Puny Guthrie's twins have started calling him granpaw. It is these people, that make up Mitford, that always make Karon's books so compelling. The reader of the series feels as if she knows the characters, and is always moved to find out more about what makes them tick.
Out to Canaan will be cherished by all faithful readers of the Mitford books!
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've read by Jan Karon, and I must admit that I was enthralled. It is the fourth in a series, "The Mitford Years." I probably should have read the previous three books first, usually a good plan with a series like the long Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. But this book stands alone very well. Oddly, I'm now starting the sixth book in the series, "A Common Life: The Wedding Story," in which the events described obviously precede the events in "Out of Canaan." I'm frankly perplexed that Karon would write them apparently out of order.

"Out of Canaan" is the story of the rector of an Episcopal church, his wife and friends in the very small southern community of Mitsford. In fact, nearly the entire population of 200 souls seems to be involved in the story in some way. Everyone knows everyone else.

This is really a good story. The protagonist and most of the other characters are devoted Christians, and there are many Christian references: Bible quotations, hymn lyrics, and other references. The story will probably not be appreciated by atheists, but may be of interest to folks of other religious faiths who can identify with the human feelings portrayed, and ignore dogma conflicts.

Although there is some conflict in the plot--otherwise, there would be no story--one cannot characterize it as suspenseful. For those impatient people who demand suspense and a brisk pace toward the resulution of the conflict, this book might be characterized as "boring." For me, it was a delightful experience. If you like to read, and appreciate nice turns of phrase and realistic characters--the kind of people you know and meet every day--you'll probably enjoy this book. Personally, I loved it.

Joseph H. Pierre
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