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Shepherds Abiding (The Mitford Years, Book 8) Paperback – Bargain Price, Sep 27 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (Sept. 27 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142004855
  • ASIN: B001O9CF3Q
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.4 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #452,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Karon works more homespun magic with this latest uplifting story set in sleepy Mitford, N.C. Father Timothy Kavanagh, stalwart of the Mitford series, is approaching 70 when he comes across pieces of an old English nativity scene at his friend Andrew Gregory's antique shop. The set has definitely seen better days, and Andrew is hoping that someone will volunteer to restore it. Who better than Father Tim, who seems to have reached a turning point in his life and needs a project to distract him? Inspired by memories of a manger from his childhood that was destroyed in a rainstorm, Father Tim, after much deliberation, takes up the cause, planning to surprise his artist wife, Cynthia. Meanwhile, Hope Winchester, manager of Mitford's Happy Endings bookshop, learns that the shop is in danger of closing at the end of the year and struggles to save it and make it her own. Tear-jerking moments and humorous scenes featuring Mitford's more ornery denizens make for a cozily familiar trip into town. The restoration of the creche proves to be transformative for Father Tim, and a snowy Christmas Eve brings happiness to everyone in Mitford. Steering readers far from the "craziness and commerce of Christmas," Karon stays true to the adage that all things are possible with hard work, ingenuity and a little faith. Written in light, breezy prose that shimmers with faith and good hope, Karon's story goes down like hot cocoa by the fireplace. The author's warm spirituality and vibrant holiday spirit make this heartwarming eighth series entry a welcome one.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.

Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."

Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Mitford books have served up slices of small town life now for more than a half a dozen years, and as the well-loved series winds down, Jan Karon focuses this full-sized novel, SHEPHERDS ABIDING, on "the most wonderful time of the year" --- Christmas.
Miford lovers know that the plot of the books is not the point; rather, it's the enjoyable escape into the daily exploits of the Mitford characters that keeps the pages turning. This latest installment is no exception. The narrative revolves around Father Tim's restoration of an old, battered nativity set, which he hopes to complete for his wife Cynthia as a surprise for Christmas. As he painstakingly sands the plaster figures, uncovering their natural beauty, he also uncovers a surprising talent for working creatively with his hands. When a nativity piece must be discarded because it is damaged beyond repair, Father Tim also discards some of his fondest dreams for the future --- and creates some new ones. The restoration of the figures becomes symbolic of Father Tim's personal restoration as he enjoys his retirement. "He felt a happy contentment flowing up in him, as a spring from a hidden source," Karen writes. Meanwhile, Cynthia is busy with her own Christmas surprise, which will offer Father Tim some consolation after a desolating accident.
There's something especially endearing about the late-in-life love between Father Tim and Cynthia, who are aging well, yet aging nonetheless. With poignancy, Father Tim discovers that one of the gifts of growing old is recapturing lost memories. He finds himself reminiscing about past Christmases with his mother and father, and remembering the lonely and imaginative child that he had been. Some tender recollections of his indifferent father also resurface.
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By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 9 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Gifted performer John McDonough presents a warm, sympathetic reading of Jan Karon's eighth novel in the Mitford series. These popular books have brought Father Tim into the hearts of millions - "Shepherds Abiding" will garner even more devoted fans.
According to Ms. Karon her latest endeavor "doesn't tie up any serious threads or answer any of the Big Questions remaining in the series." It is, nonetheless, a touching reminder of what is important in life.
Father Tim, by his own description, has been a thinker rather than a doer for all of his life. For him, even during a pleasant boyhood in Mississippi, he's not had an interest in working with this hands. That may change.
To his surprise he finds a nativity scene that is much the worse for wear. The twenty figures, including animals, are all in sad condition. Would it be possible, he wonders, for him to restore the figures to their original wholeness and luster? What, he also wonders, would his wife Cynthia think of all this?
Listeners will respond to this oasis of hope and tranquility during our too-busy holiday season.
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By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 9 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Gifted performer John McDonough presents a warm, sympathetic reading of Jan Karon's eighth novel in the Mitford series. These popular books have brought Father Tim into the hearts of millions - "Shepherds Abiding" will garner even more devoted fans.
According to Ms. Karon her latest endeavor "doesn't tie up any serious threads or answer any of the Big Questions remaining in the series." It is, nonetheless, a touching reminder of what is important in life.
Father Tim, by his own description, has been a thinker rather than a doer for all of his life. For him, even during a pleasant boyhood in Mississippi, he's not had an interest in working with this hands. That may change.
To his surprise he finds a nativity scene that is much the worse for wear. The twenty figures, including animals, are all in sad condition. Would it be possible, he wonders, for him to restore the figures to their original wholeness and luster? What, he also wonders, would his wife Cynthia think of all this?
Listeners will respond to this oasis of hope and tranquility during our too-busy holiday season.
- Gail Cooke
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
The eighth novel in the bestselling Mitford Years is a meditation on the best of all presents-the gift of one's heart. Lovingly written and beautifully illustrated, it seeks to restore the true Christmas spirit and give everyone a seat at Mitford's holiday table.
Since he was a boy growing up in Mississippi, Father Tim has lived what he calls "the life of the mind." Except for cooking, gardening, and washing his dog, he never learned to savor the work of his hands.
And then he finds a derelict nativity scene, including a flock of sheep, that has suffered the indignities of time and neglect.
The question is, can he give this assembly new life? Restore the camel's ear, repaint every piece, replace an angel's missing wing? "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," he reminds himself. Besides, it's his wife who's the artist in the family. Then he imagines the excitement in Cynthia's eyes, and steps up to the plate, beginning a small journey of faith that touches the hearts of everyone around him.
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Format: Audio Cassette
At the heart of this latest addition to the Mitford Series is a strong faith in the Christ Child of Christmas Nativities the worldwide. Ms. Karon writes from a depth of faith lived out in her writing that relates and touches the soul deep within its readers. And we thank God for her and it!
Emmanuel (God with us) is prominent in this latest book. From His workings in Father Tim and Cynthia to the other characters, this Holy Child of Bethlehem takes His place at the center of all adoration and praise and thanks as His story is retold through the heartbreaks and gifts given and received in this small Carolina place and time. A small wish that she would have stuck with the Biblical way of salvation, not a saving prayer inviting Christ into hearts, but believe in the Christmas story and what it brought into the world, Our Savior, Redeemer Lord!
In her identifying style the author makes this gracious Lord's outpourings burst forth in its radiance and magnificence in the characters' lives. What this reader found attractive and new in this work was the continuing flashbacks Tim has of his youth and father and abiding around the barn as a shepherd, to the ending of Tommy's receiving the same 2-wheels! Great, touching stuff!
As the rest, will anxiously await the next and final installment. This will certainly become a classic to be shared, given and treasured.
All praise and glory to the gracious Christ Child!
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