A Common Life: The Sixth Book in the Mitford Years Series Paperback – Mar 26 2002
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Common Life is a trip back in time for fans of "the little town with the big heart." Somewhere between the second and third volumes of Jan Karon's Mitford Years series, dyed-in-the-wool bachelor Father Timothy Kavanagh and his next-door neighbor Cynthia Coppersmith tied the knot. The author left it to readers' imaginations to fill in the blanks. In this delightful story, Karon paints a complete picture of the events surrounding the wedding of Mitford's best-loved couple, and chronicles the poignant and often hilarious reactions to the nuptial news by the tightly knit North Carolina community.
All the details cherished by those who are enchanted by weddings are offered here, from the color of the bridal outfit (aquamarine) to the choice of flowers (virgin's bower and hydrangeas). When the wedding bells finally ring, the pews are packed with the people who make Mitford special: ornery Uncle Billy, delightful Miss Sadie, indispensable Louella, and the cantankerous Emma Newland. And there's not a dry eye in the house when Father Tim's problematic foster child Dooley Barlowe sings for the two people who love him the most.
A Common Life is not just a wedding story. It's also an intimate portrait of the unfolding love between Cynthia and the shy Father Tim, complete with fears and hesitations, professions of commitment, and Barnabas the dog delivering love letters. But there's nothing heavy-handed here. The tensions don't run any higher than wondering if Cynthia will make it to the wedding on time after getting locked inside her own bathroom, or guessing if Esther will make her famous three-layer orange marmalade cake for the reception. Told in the warm, down-home style that Karon has built her reputation on, A Common Life is sweet without being saccharine, charming without being cloying. It's an invitation to a literary reunion of the best kind, and like all weddings, it will probably coax a few tears and plenty of smiles. --Cindy Crosby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Mitford, Karon's delightful fictional village in western North Carolina, will be thrilled with this newest installment, which relates an episode she skipped over in her earlier books: Father Tim and Cynthia's wedding. (He proposed at the end of the second Mitford book, and at the beginning of the third, they were already happily married.) Finally, readers get to see the stunned expressions of most Mitford residents when they hear Father Tim has actually popped the question. Readers learn about Cynthia's anxieties over the pending nuptials, share Esther Bolick's delight when Cynthia asks her to bake her famous orange marmalade cake and hum along as the Lord's Chapel parish belts out "Praise my soul the King of Heaven" at the ceremony. And as usual, Karon works in a few snippets of convincing mountain dialect. While Mitford die-hards will welcome this installment, however, the unconverted won't find much to bring them around; one has to already know Karon's eccentric characters, with all their foibles, to fully appreciate the book. Even Mitford devotees may be a touch disappointed that the trademark lessons about Christian faith that Karon weaves so seamlessly into most of her tales are more or less absent from this slim volume. (When they do appear, they stick out, as when Bishop Cullen pointedly discusses the role of sex in Christian marriage.) Still, don't be surprised if Mitford fans begin serving orange marmalade cake at their weddings, and sing hymn 410 at every opportunity. (Apr. 9)Forecast: Fresh from her 2000 Christy and ECPA Gold Medallion Awards for A New Song (book five), Karon keeps rolling along with the Mitford series. This book will no doubt please the thousands of fans who have written to Karon, asking, "Why weren't we invited to the wedding?" Six weeks before its release, the novel was hovering around the #100 position on Amazon.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
This book has been referred to as a novella, which is appropriate; it was never meant to be another major novel in the Mitford series.
This novella presents a different perspective than the other five. After some introductory pages of At Home in Mitford, we gain practically every bit of our knowledge and feeling for the characters through the experience of Father Tim. Everything comes to us through his eyes. Almost nothing takes place--no conversation, not a piece of information-- that does not come through his direct experience or his reflections or through conversations to which he was party.
Even the author's commentary, which would from a lesser writer come to us from the distance of the third person--the author as author--seems to come from Father Tim's own thoughts and feelings. Jan Karon hides herself so beautifully within her central character that she and he become one and the same. She herself, the author, hardly ever intrudes upon his mind and heart--at least, not that we are aware of. Rarely have I read any author who does this so delicately and with such skill. Then, of course, we, too, become Father Tim: we know everything he knows and feel what he feels and as he feels. This is what makes, I believe, these books so delightful and reaches so many people, touches them so deeply.Read more ›
A COMMON LIFE is a lorgniette-view of characters about whom we have come to care during the single event about which we would most like to know every detail. The book delivers - but we'll never stop wanting more, because Jan's storytelling gift has made room for itself permanently for so many.
Most recent customer reviews
This book was highly recommended by a bookstore owner and I was expecting a “great novel”… I quickly discovered that, unless you’ve read the previous novels featuring Father Tim... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Pat the cat
Yet another fantastic book in the Mitford series. Every bit as good as the first five.Published 12 months ago by christine Ottens
love this series although I did find A common Life a little slow but easily enjoyable. I recommend this series to anyone looking for easy, relaxed and 'feel good' reading.Published on Dec 10 2013 by Kaye Tompsett
Another great read! A little shorter than regular Mitford books. Interesting how she would hold off on the wedding chapters for a later book. I just can't get enough of Mitford!Published on Dec 5 2003 by Tonya Speelman
My wife and I have read each of Karon's Mitford books aloud to each other over the past few years. This is one of the better ones. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by David C. Hoffner
This book appears to have been written simply to hold the readers until the next book in the series (hopefully with some substance) is released. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2002 by Elizabeth C. Hicks
Huge disappointment. Don't buy, borrow from the library if you must.Published on Oct. 27 2002 by plum9195
Compared to all the other Mitford books, this one is like a bad movie of the week, or an old rerun of Love Boat. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2002 by Anna M. Haney
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Fiction
- Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Romance
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Saga
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Christian > Fiction
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Christian > Romance
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Women's Fiction > Domestic Life
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Women's Fiction > Single Women