Mitford Years: A Light in the Window Paperback – Sep 22 1997
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A Light in the Window is the second installment in this enormously popular series about a small-town rector, Father Tim, and the heartwarming cast of characters surrounding him. This time Father Tim, a lifelong bachelor, finds his heart distracted by his free-spirited neighbor Cynthia, but his stomach and the rectory cash box are distracted by Edith, a wealthy widow who is wooing the rector with love potion casseroles. At every turn, including when a brooding Irish cousin decides to move in, Father Tim must decide whether he will practice what he preaches.
Fans of the series say they long to buy real estate in Mitford, just so they can live next door to these funny and endearing characters and feel the embrace of such a loving community. But what author Jan Karon probably knows, and many readers are starting to figure out, is that the integrity and solid Christian values that these characters possess can be found in just about every neighborhood, and with inspiration like this book, anyone can build their own Mitford community. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
The first two novels in Karon's Mitford series chronicle the everyday eccentricities of a small North Carolina town.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
McDonough describes his first reading of a book as being " like the first listening of a piece of music." "You have to be completely free," he said. . "As you read and think about the piece, you hear voices, and it starts to take on life."
How fortunate for all of us!
In this, the second installment of the popular series, Father Tim has just returned from a vacation - his first in over a dozen years. While he enjoyed the respite he is a bit anxious to come home and see his neighbor, Cynthia Coppersmith, a woman with whom he thought he had an understanding. He's perplexed by what he perceives as her coolness and a bit agitated when a widow in his congregation sets her sights on him.
The church has undertaken the building of a care center and an unexpected visitor arrives, evidently for an extended stay.
Life goes on in Mitford as listeners renew acquaintances with some of the townspeople and once again are charmed by the fictional community.
- Gail Cooke
But there was enough of the original charm from the first book to allow me to recommend this one. The spiritual and emotional center of the town is still the local Episcopalian minister, Father Tim Kavanagh (whose last name we finally learn at the end of this book!). His relationship with his next-door neighbor, Cynthia Coppersmith, is still going down the same road as in the first book - although there are a lot of bumps and potholes along the way - and his bond with the boy Dooley is only getting stronger.
Aside from Father Tim's pursuit of Cynthia (and vice-versa), it would be impossible to describe all the little episodes that make up this book. But there are some that stand out. The town's latest widow, Edith Mallory, shows a definite mercenary streak - she's in shameless pursuit of Father Tim and also wants to close down the local diner and replace it with a dress shop that's willing to pay double the current rent. Miss Sadie, the town millionaire, is literally pouring her millions into repairing her home, just so she can give her newfound niece the wedding of her (and Miss Sadie's) dreams. And a redhead comes to Father Tim's door claiming to be his cousin Meg from Sligo, Ireland.
I do wish Ms. Karon had gone more deeply into the "Cousin Meg" sequence, but I can live with what she gave me.
Overall this is a worthy sequel to a fascinating tale of small-town life.
This second installment is chock-full of happenings. We have recent widower, Edith Mallory, setting her eyes (and hands) on Father Tim; a mysterious Irish cousin who comes to stay in the rectory for questionable reasons; and we meet a new character, Buck Leeper, the hardened, unpleasant building supervisor hired to build Mitford's new nursing home. But the most important part of this book is Father Tim's growing feelings toward his neighbor, Cynthia, and his struggle to accept them, be happy, and let nature take its course. And naturally, Cynthia has a word or two to say about that!
I enjoyed A Light in the Window much better than the first one. I found myself reading this novel until the wee hours of the morning because I couldn't get enough of the characters or heartwarming storylines. No action, no plot twists, no shocking endings -- but I simply didn't care. Jan Karon has a way of telling a story that makes all those other page-turning qualities seem unimportant. Mitford is a home away from home, a fictitious account of REAL life, and a place where I will look forward to visiting in the books to come.
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 single 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.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the second novel by Jan Karon in the Mitford Series. I continue to enjoy this series very much. Read morePublished 5 months ago by George Jones
All of the Mitford books are a treat, and although I've read them all 3 or 4 times I fully expect to read them again, next time I feel a little nostalgic or homesick. Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2010 by joyful spirit
This is an intelligent, compassionate story that completely engaged me. I love the town of Mitford and the real people who live there. Read morePublished on April 21 2006 by Cathy McCurdy
I must confess that I had seen the Mitford series of books in the stores and never even picked one up. Read morePublished on May 28 2004 by Cornwoman
I liked this one better than the first book, At Home in Mitford. The story lines in this book seemed more compelling, more interesting. Read morePublished on April 30 2003 by C. Hill