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Light from Heaven (Mitford) by [Karon, Jan]
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Light from Heaven (Mitford) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

The ninth novel in the beloved Mitford series, by the bestselling author of At Home in Mitford and Somebody Safe with Somebody Good 

Father Tim Kavanagh has been asked to "come up higher" more than once. But he's never been asked to do the impossible--until now. The retired Episcopal priest takes on the revival of a mountain church that's been closed for forty years. Meanwhile, in Mitford, he's sent on a hunt for hidden treasure, and two beloved friends are called to come up higher. As Father Tim finds, there are still plenty of heartfelt surprises, dear friends old and new, and the most important lesson of all: It's never too late.

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."

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4740 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (April 25 2008)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003QP4NUO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every Jan Karon book is a treasure. Fabulous characters. The kind of book you never want to end!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved it! Love all of Jan Karon's Mitford series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa49b8204) out of 5 stars 422 reviews
141 of 156 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa46d58ac) out of 5 stars THIS SEQUEL IS WORTH THE LONG WAIT Nov. 8 2005
By VAL ODUENYI - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Well-written, well-bound, and overflowing with dynamic gists; this long-awaited final volume of "Light from Heaven" took almost eternity to be published. But the good news is that its contents truly justified the long wait. Expectedly, the book imbibed some new characters in addition to all the old ones with whom previous readers are familiar.
And whatever your opinion on Father Timothy Kavanagh's intriguing life, one thing is guaranteed: this latest volume did bring out the best from Jan Karon's narratives. This sequel is so captivating that even after devouring its close-to-400 pages, one will be left wondering why the author chose to 'summarize' such an exciting story. Without question, this book's 380 pages could have yielded a dynamic 580 pages with a little effort. Anyone who reads it would testify to this fact.
Meanwhile, in the course of tracing their steps across the domestic minefield they called home, the priesthood of Father Timothy was consummately tested: just as the mystery and the muscle of Cynthia's house-sitting were laid bare.
Despite its late arrival to the market, this book is a well-laid-out sequel, which will earn the interest of any story-lover. Another fine piece from Jan Karon!
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa46d5900) out of 5 stars The Father Gathers the Family; Moving On Nov. 22 2005
By rodboomboom - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Saliently Ms. Karon summarizes the series and this final installment in the Mitford series: the Father gathers the family; then moves on.

Weaving with her demonstrated skill at keeping multiple storylines going and keeping the reader's interest perked (or not all it seems from some of the reviewers with this finale) she marvelously weaves her magic through tales of ordinary folks on a mountain wrapped with Mitford folks we've come to know and love over the series.

From runaway kids of dysfunctional homes to lead poisoning to hidden money to a chicken thief. Notably, however, this offering has more Scripture, more witness to the faith than the others. Thus, easily this reviewer's esteem and enjoyment following the reopened spiritual outpost. The interspersing of hymns and prayers and emails show that faith of old still functioning even in age of technology. What marvelous seaming together of the wonder of it all!

Especially touching is ASL signing with Clarence and small congregation's learning to communicate with this neglected language group.

What begins in the spring seems so encouraging to a book introduced as chill of fall turns to winter approaches, renewing one's longing for it. Ending as it does with a June scene and paths yet untrod ahead for our Father Timothy and Cynthia, seems the perfect jumpoff for what is to come from our beloved wordsmith Karon.

Can't wait for Fr.T series, but now relishing this wonderful finale read!
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa46d5d38) out of 5 stars A disappointment for the closer Nov. 17 2005
By Rachel A. Hickson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have been a reader and re-reader of the Mitford Books. But I am very disappointed in this book. The first four books were outstanding, the fifth one (Whitecap) pretty entertaining, but In This Mountain began a slide and Light From Heaven sinks hard to the bottom.

The "resolved" story lines are done only minimally. (I can't say too much lest I spoil this for someone.)

There are hints of what's to come for past characters -- Hope's sister apparently taking a shine to George Gaynor -- but we will never know what happens since the series is ending. This was probably not the book in which to introduce new plots.

Only very minimal attention is paid to Mitford characters who made the past books so much fun -- Esther and Ray, Andrew Gregory, and others -- and the Turkey Club visits are no longer very satisfying (read the book to find out what happened to lunchtime). Minister Tipton was introduced late and significantly in the book immediately prior, but has no part in this one. There is very little about Buck and Pauline. Edith Mallory's return to Mitford is just silly, given how much everyone hated her. There is one great scene with Tony Nocelli, one of the few times we ever really see what he's like, but it does not lead anywhere.

Particularly annoying, given the scant attention paid to already-loved and developed characters, is the introduction of so many new ones in this book. Karon could have told her story without a lot of those. Even in Whitecap there were not so many new people to keep track of.

I will read the Father Tim Novels (assume they are about his pre-Mitford life?) but I really wanted more as a closer to this series.
41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa46e2114) out of 5 stars It's Here...and It's Fabulous Nov. 9 2005
By Victoria Vanderslice - Published on
Format: Hardcover
We waited a long time for Light From Heaven, but now that it's here, we know it was worth the wait. A fun and feel-good novel, Karon has given us just what we asked for.

As we reaquaint ourselves with the residents of the North Carolina town of Mitford, we find that Father Tim is called away to bring life to a tiny in size (but big in spirit) mountain church. Even though this is the end of a series, we are introduced to just a few more interesting and entertaining folks--the parishioners of Holy Trinity church. Like every Mitford novel, Light From Heaven is not overbearingly religious, but it does always pay respect and paint a beautiful picture of the special feeling that is Faith. By ministering this new group of churh-goers--unlike any the pastor has seen before--Father Tim inevitably finds himself closer to nature (and heaven) because of the people he meets, and the events that occur at this small and simply vibrant vocation. It should also be mentioned that, like the rest of the series, scrumptuous southern cooking plays a big role in the interaction of the characters. (I was interested to learn that Karon also recently published a cookbook.)

So, as we say goodbye, we are pleased to find that Light From Heaven does an excellent job at answering many of the questions we had after reading the previous eight books. It also acts as a transition book for Father Tim and his wife, as "The Father Tim Novels" are set to be published in 2007. Newcomers to the series should consider picking up the Mitford Series boxset, as it wouldn't be fair to start at the ending, and the whole series really is exceptional. Fans might also enjoy the Left Behind Series by Lehaye and Jenkins. It has many similar morality themes and religious references. A book titled Calling in the Night by Michele Geraldi fits right into this style, too, as it is eloquent and respectful to faith and beauty. (I believe it is the first in a series, so it is fun to be at the beginning of something new.) Goodbye, Mitford. It's been wonderful.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa46e21f8) out of 5 stars A tender and satisfying ending to the Mitford Years novels Nov. 29 2005
By Bookreporter - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's the final encore for the characters of Mitford, "the little town with the big heart," as the curtain rings down on the long-running series. Fans who have devotedly read each of the Mitford Years novels will be delighted that this long-awaited conclusion is everything that might be hoped for, and a little bit more.

Father Tim Kavanaugh and his wife Cynthia are farm-sitting for their friends, just 20 minutes from Mitford. It's the setting for a number of developments. Dooley is a college student studying to be a veterinarian, and about to find out he has a huge inheritance that will smooth his future career path. He's also about to make his relationship as "son" to Father Tim and Cynthia official. Those who remember the abused little boy Dooley, showing up on the then-bachelor Father Tim's doorstep in the inaugural novel AT HOME IN MITFORD, may shed a tear or two, as readers see what the love of a good man can mean to a boy starved for attention, affection and discipline. It's unabashedly poignant. Not that Father Tim's parenting work is done --- Dooley's little brother Sammy is now part of the Kavanaugh family, rough around the edges and harboring a penchant for shooting pool and planting gardens. And Kenny, Dooley's missing sibling, still must be found and returned to the fold.

Cynthia, who had planned to tackle nothing more difficult than learning how to make good home fries, read, and learn needlepoint while on the farm, ends up hard at work on a series of watercolors for a calendar featuring Violet, the cat, in the country. With Cynthia so busy, Father Tim finds that he wants something concrete to do. He's delighted when he's asked to be the vicar of a small church, Holy Trinity, that has been empty for almost 40 years. But Father Tim discovers that while the church has been empty, it's not been neglected, and a new beginning awaits him. Kudos to Jan Karon, who shows beautifully through both Father Tim and Cynthia that getting older does not mean "retiring" from life. Some of the best work we do might come after 60!

Karon issues an altar call for all the characters readers have grown to love. The irascible Emma, Father Tim's former assistant, shoots him hilarious emails full of her fears about her upcoming trip to England. Puny has given birth to a second set of twins, this time boys, and the unlikable Edith Mallory, who suffered a serious head injury seven months before the story opens, speaks a single word: "God." Many others are woven throughout the story. Some of the beloved Mitford characters are dead or dying: Russell Jacks (who made "livermush" famous for Karon's readers), Absalom Greer, Miss Sadie, and Uncle Billy. Dying is on Father Tim's mind more these days as he nears the ripe age of 70: "He wasn't however, afraid of dying; he knew where he was going, what he feared, instead, was leaving some crucial work undone..."

The plot turns easily on simple things: the restoring of the abandoned Holy Trinity church and recovery of its congregation, a search for Miss Sadie's cache of money hidden in an old Plymouth automobile, the dilemmas of Cynthia's work as an artist in the midst of farm life, and the challenges of taking neglected children in hand.

More surprisingly, perhaps (and a hint of the promised Father Tim Novels series to come?), a new cast of characters parades across the pages: Agnes Merton, one of the last faithful members of Holy Trinity and a newfound friend to Father Tim; Robert, who served time for murder in prison; Rooter, whose antics will make you smile; and Clarence, a deaf and talented carpenter. There's also the cranky, reclusive Jubal Adderholt whose cabin walls are furred with squirrel tails, and the McKinney sisters, Mary and Martha (one fat, one thin). Father Tim takes on another attention-starved child "project" in precocious five-year-old Sissie, the daughter of Dovey Gleason, who is chronically bed-ridden with a mysterious illness.

As you'd expect, there's some ruminations about the past, some wrapping up of old plotlines, and a few surprises. This is a tender tale, spiced with plenty of prayers, old hymns, homilies, good food, and country jokes that would make Uncle Billy Watson proud. Mitford lovers will turn the final pages of LIGHT FROM HEAVEN with the feeling that comes after finishing a big, delicious meal: full, satisfied, and content.