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These High Green Hills (The Mitford Years, Book 3) [Paperback]

Jan Karon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 22 1997

In These High, Green Hills we're once again in Mitford, a southern village of local characters so heartwarming and hilarious you'll wish you lived right next door. At last, Mitford's rector and lifelong bachelor, Father Tim, has married his talented and vivacious neighbor, Cynthia. Now, of course, they must face love's challenges: new sleeping arrangements for Father Tim's sofa-sized dog, Cynthia's urge to decorate the rectory Italian-villa-style, and the growing pains of the thrown-away boy who's become like a son to the rector. Add a life-changing camping trip, the arrival of the town's first policewoman, and a new computer that requires the patience of a saint, and you know you're in for another engrossing visit to Mitford -- the little town that readers everywhere love to call home.

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These High Green Hills (The Mitford Years, Book 3) + Out to Canaan (The Mitford Years, Book 4)
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From Amazon

The village of Mitford is soothing tonic for a readership that feels starved for community and yearns for clear morals. The recently married Father Tim and his plain-folk neighbors live the best of Christianity in everyday life. Even the rampant gossip in Mitford is the good kind: folks worrying about other folks and everyone minding one another's business out of concern rather than malice. As a result, no one faces a crisis alone. Often the crises are cause for a belly laugh, such as the rectory's new computer system that seems programmed to torment. But just as often the crises have the bite of real-life problems, such as the bloody young girl in shredded clothes, whom Father Tim finds after she was beaten by her drunken father, and the soul-wrenching despair Father Tim feels when he loses a surrogate mother. The heavily quoted scripture gives a day-to-day context for biblical teachings as well as spiritual solace during the sadder days at Mitford. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

This third in the Mitford series (At Home in Mitford?a 1996 ABBY Book of the Year finalist?and Light in the Window) is another sympathetic portrayal of small-town Southern life with just enough drama to carry the plot and gracefully developed portraits of endearing characters. Allusions to past events and cameos by peripheral characters will delight the fan but may frustrate the reader new to Karon's work. Mitford is a Southeastern mountain town where everyone turns out for benefactress Sadie Baxter's birthday, where the police chief gives copies of Southern Living to inmates?and where social trouble brews in a hillbilly enclave across the creek. Episcopal minister Timothy Kavanagh of Lord's Chapel is the pivotal character. A lifelong bachelor adjusting to marriage for the first time at 63, he has no perspective on his faith and future until he and his new wife, Cynthia, are lost?and found?in a cave on a youth-group camping trip. Most compelling in Timothy's affectionately drawn flock are the young people. Thirteen-year-old Dooley Barlowe was abandoned at the rectory and now struggles to adjust to Timothy's Pygmalion efforts; Lacey Turner, also 13, is saved from her father's abuse as much by Timothy as by social services. Like glass chips tumbling in a kaleidoscope, the people at Mitford fall neatly into place at story's end, having provided a cozy and satisfying read. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahhh...to be back in Mitford! June 13 2003
There is just something special about Mitford, North Carolina. Jan Karon has created a magical yet ordinary place, with memorable, endearing characters. I love these novels and enjoy each and every trip I take back.
In the 3rd installment, things are looking up! Father Timothy and Cynthia are settling into married life, and the marvels at having a soul mate after Tim's 60-plus years of bachelorhood has yet to stop amazing him. Their first year will definitely be an adventurous one -- a camping trip gone awry; a 90th birthday party for Timothy's favorite parishioner, Sadie Baxter; the opening of the new nursing home, Hope House; as well as a few newcomers to the Mitford community. And of course all of our favorite characters, like Dooley, Mule and Fancy Skinner, and J.C. Hogan, and places, like The Grill, The Porter Place, and Fernback are back in full swing. Reading these books feel like the best a family reunion has to offer.
A helpful hint for those who are reading the books in order: Book 6 actually fits in between book 2 and 3 -- it is a detailed story of Timothy and Cynthia's wedding. I read it before reading These High, Green Hills. I suggest doing this if you are the type of reader that likes things in chronological order.
I can't wait to continue on with the series. There is a certain beauty about these books, a calming, soothing beauty that makes me want to pack up and move to Mitford! Although not novels of huge, twisting, turning action, Jan Karon manages to turn the ordinary things of life into great milestones. I applaud her and the rewards I receive every time I visit.
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By a-
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 a newly 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Karon Is the Master of Series April 11 2002
Author Jan Karon does all the deadly little care-taking duties required of those who write a series so well that even I rarely lost patience with a trudge through three volumes.
Even though I thought I had tired of the endearing souls in this book, I began to miss them after a week or two and thought I must write a review to apologize for my lack of enthusiasm.
Actually, other than noting my own personal shortcomings, I can think of only one negative thing to say about this book. The protagonist and his new wife lose themselves (rather stupidly but oh so humanly, I thought) in a cave and the protagonist spends some thoughtful moments--both in the cave and later--trying to discern what he had learned from the experience. The conclusion he came to seemed a bit contrived, as if it didn't follow naturally from the experience.

All in all, though, this is a warm and wonderful book and Karon is a first-rate writer. Delightful characters are hard to find these days, as hard to find as readers with long attention spans. If anyone can keep a reader riveted for three whole books, it may very well be Jan Karon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Meet the people in the ideal American village May 15 2001
This is another fine book in Jan Karon's series on Mitford.

Mitford is a nice little North Carolina town, filled with nice people who interact with each other. The main character is an Episcopalian priest who loves his wife, and (believe it or not) believes what he preaches. Father Timothy Kavanaugh not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.

Don't look in this series for foul language, explicit sex, fast car chases or gruesome murders. Some of those stories are alright in their place, but this one is different. The nastiest word you'll find is "poop." But the story avoids being saccharin. The characterizations are excellent, the people live and breathe and their motivations are utterly real. Furthermore, the author demonstrates amazing insights into human nature. The tale was never boring to me.

This is the fourth book of Karon's I've read in this series, and I loved them all. The only fault I've found is that number six was published out-of-order, and should have been number two. But they all stand alone.

Try them, you'll like them.

Joseph Pierre
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I was totally absorbed in this book, just like the other two before it.
In this sequel, Jan Karon shows us small-town life for what it really is, completely engrossing. Father Timothy Kavanaugh is married to more than his lovable and eccentric Episcopal parishoners. He's also married to Cynthia, his vivacious and talented neighbor, who is a famous children's author. Suddenly, the routine of a sixty-something bachelor is out the window. Will they be able to keep Father Timothy's dog, away from Cynthia's arrogant cat? Can Father learn to love the old-Italian-villa look his wife is bent on giving the rectory? Dooley Barlowe, the neglected boy, whom Father Tim loves as his own son is experiencing "growing pains." Then, above all, the pverty and violence of an area known as the Creek comes knocking at the rectory door.
Being at home in Mitford, has its challenges for sure. The book is fun to read, and extremely hard to put down!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A family so real you can belong to it!
This book is heart warming, funny, well written, and has a unpredictable plot. Excellent story. The author describes not only the looks of the characters, but their personalities,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rachel Nysted
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitford and Mayberry
Jan Karon is a gifted author who writes of simpler times and ordinary folks. I was hooked at once after reading the first book in the series. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2003 by V. L. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel a little better when you're done
In modern times where any bit of 'entertainment' can leave you feeling a bit down, its nice to have something that lets you walk away with a smile. Read more
Published on June 22 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel a little better when you're done
In modern times where any bit of 'entertainment' can leave you feeling a bit down, its nice to have something that lets you walk away with a smile. Read more
Published on June 22 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad
I have more complaints with this book than I did with the first two, though I still enjoyed it overall. Read more
Published on May 14 2003 by C. Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars Faith and Forgiveness
In this, the third book of the Mitford series, Father Tim Kavanaugh and his charming newlywed wife Cynthia return to face the challenges of building a new life together. Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2002 by K. Fromal
5.0 out of 5 stars I love these books!!
They are very refreshing and interesting to read. The characters would be people I would like to know.
Published on July 15 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "feel good" book I've ever read
I have read all of the books in the Mitford Series. Jan Karon's characters come alive and make me smile. The best books I have ever read. I rate them 5+.
Published on April 20 2002 by wcolvin
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanna go to Mitford!
I have looked for years for a series of books that are as warm and inviting as this. I fell in love with Father Tim and all the people who live in Mitford in those beautiful... Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by Marie Heavener
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