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A New Song: The Fifth Book in the Mitford Years Series Paperback – Apr 1 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews

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  • A New Song: The Fifth Book in the Mitford Years Series
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  • A Common Life: The Sixth Book in the Mitford Years Series
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (April 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140270590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140270594
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #122,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

As if being a priest in this day and age isn't difficult enough, try shepherding two parishes, located hundreds of miles apart, at the same time. A predicament of biblical proportions indeed, but one the indomitable Father Tim Kavanaugh and his cheerful wife, Cynthia, can handle, with a little help from the Lord--not to mention their friends--in Jan Karon's A New Song, the fifth installment in her much-loved Mitford series. When asked to act as interim minister for a tiny island parish in North Carolina's Outer Banks, the recently retired Father heeds the call, all the while trusting in a divine master plan: "He had prayed that God would send him wherever He pleased, and when his bishop presented the idea of Whitecap, he knew it wasn't his bishop's bright idea at all, but God's."

From the more routine duties of settling into a new church to dealing with a number of deeper domestic issues--including a single mother's spiral into depression and a reclusive next door neighbor in need of kindness--Father Tim's new parish presents a welcome challenge. All the while, of course, the folks back home keep him informed of goings-on in Mitford--the biggest being the recent arrest of Dooley Barlowe, a mountain boy whom Father Tim had taken into his home and heart five years earlier. As in past Mitford episodes, things have a way of working themselves out, but not before Father Tim and his accompanying cast learn a few more valuable lessons about life. Full of the homey atmosphere and heartwarming truths--not to mention the endearingly quirky characters--that are Karon's trademark, A New Song is a delightful celebration of the communal ties that bind. --Stefanie Hargreaves

From Publishers Weekly

In this fifth volume of Karon's popular series (Out to Canaan, etc.) set in the quaint North Carolina town of Mitford, where people chuckle and say "dadgummit," Father Timothy Kavanagh is leaving town for a post-retirement interim appointment at a small island parish off the coast of North Carolina. After what seems (even to the minister and his wife) to be an endless round of good-byes, he and his wife, Cynthia, set off in a brand-new red convertible. Stormy weather, which closes in on them as they near Whitecap Island, presages the many struggles to come. Once on the island, Fr. Tim tries to befriend a seemingly hostile and isolated neighbor while he and Cynthia take over the care of a three-year-old boy whose mother is suffering from depression. Back in Mitford, meanwhile, Dooley, the mountain boy who is like a son to Fr. Tim, is thrown into jail, and the quiet woman who seemed the perfect tenant for the rectory house surprises the minister with a lawsuit. Additionally, an unexpected storm moves in off the ocean with devastating force. Karon adds a dash of suspense to her homey brew with the increasingly suspicious behavior of Fr. Tim's tenant, whose story emerges in a compelling confession. Newcomers to the series may find they have much to catch up on, but readers making a return trip to the Kavanaghs' world will be happily swept up in the maelstrom of small-town and spiritual drama that characterizes the novel. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club super release; Crossings Book Club main selection; Penguin audio; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My wife and I have read each of Karon's Mitford books aloud to each other over the past few years. I enjoyed this book more than I had the previous two in the series. I think that the new locale and the fresh characters really breathed new life into the series. I know from book blurbs that the next installments of the series will be returning to Mitford. I almost wish the author would spend another book in Whitecap, the setting of this book.
Mitford is not abandoned; some storylines continue, including those of Buck Leeper and Dooley Barlowe. But Whitecap Island and its residents have a distinctness that whetted my appetite for more. There was a pleasing authenticity to the descriptions of the island community, and I enjoyed discovering it alongside Father Tim. From 'Ernie's Books Bait, & Tackle' to St. John's in the Grove, this is a fascinating place to visit. In St. John's, Father Tim is introduced to church politics of quite a different sort from his experience with the Mitford church. And the conversations in Ernie's shop are some of the best dialogue Karon has written.
If there is one disappointment for me with this book, it is that Karon couldn't resist the temptation to resolve a neat ending for the Jeffrey Tolson character. Sometimes it's better to let the readers speculate about the fate of secondary characters, and I think this was a perfect case for just that sort of a vague or unstated ending.
If anyone wondered whether the author had enough creativity to go beyond Mitford, I think this book provides an affirmative answer. In my opinion this is the best book since her first one (_At Home in Mitford_)
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Format: Paperback
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 recently 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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Format: Paperback
I'm gonna get flamed for this review; I might even lose my status as a "Top 1000" reviewer. But somebody has to tell the truth about this book.
This is apparently a continuation of a series of books about the little town of Mitford, North Carolina. Mitford supposedly has a population of only a thousand, although there are many more businesses and churches than a town of that size would realistically have.
The main character is the longtime rector of the Episcopal Church in Mitford, who is valiantly trying to solve the problems of at least a dozen people. Those attempts are complicated by his own personal and family problems, as well as some political divisions within the town.
Without exception, every attempt to solve every problem is successful. The rector confidently places his trust in the Lord, and remarkable coincidences save the day in every case.
The naiveté of this book is breathtaking. Karon seems to believe that good intentions will always be rewarded, whether you are trying to reform an alcoholic, raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for your church, teach a teenager how to drive, or build a marriage between two people who remained single well into their fifties. Has Karon's life really been like that, or has she been sleepwalking since birth? The rector doesn't even have to break a sweat to solve every problem and rescue every soul in town. No one ever resents his attempts to intrude into their lives. He never has to deal with the often-agonizing issue of where to draw the line between supporting people and teaching them to support themselves.
The religious aspect of the book is not heavy-handed, but the preposterous naiveté of the author's viewpoint applies to religion as well.
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Format: Paperback
Every time I open another Mitford book, it is like going home again. As always, Karon paints a picture of comfort, quaintness, and pure delight in her town and all of it's characters.
In this fifth installment, Father Tim and Cynthia are headed to Whitecap, a little island on the coast where Father Tim will serve as an interim pastor in this new town. Here you will meet a new set of characters, as Father Tim & Cynthia meet the community of Whitecap. Beloved Mitford is still in the picture, as were are kept up to speed with its goings-on, as everyone from Emma to Dooley call in to check on Tim & Cynthia.
As always, Father Tim steps in to help the town of Whitecap with the ups and downs of life that it's members come across while not forgetting about his friends and loved ones back in Mitford. In A New Song, Father Tim will reach out to a town recluse, Morris Love, who lives in the neighboring mansion, next to Dove Cottage, where Father Tim and Cynthia are staying. Cynthia also steps in as a surrogate mom for a brief time, to little Jonathan, who's mother is recovering from an emotional breakdown. As the stories unfold, you'll find yourself loving the new set of townsfolk, and continuing to love the old ones. Of course, the ending of A New Song, leaves you wanting for more~
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