Home to Holly Springs, Father Tim Series #1   -     By: Jan Karon
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Home to Holly Springs, Father Tim Series #1

Viking / 2007 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Wonderful news, Mitford fans! Father Tim, the beloved retired Episcopal priest, is back---and in response to a mysterious summons, he's taking a trip down "memory lane" to his hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi. His journey is filled with colorful characters, heartfelt insights, and plenty of laughs---but will the destination yield surprising secrets, too? 368 pages, hardcover from Viking.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Viking
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 X 0.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0670018252
ISBN-13: 9780670018253
Availability: In Stock
Series: Father Tim

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Publisher's Description

Readers of the nine bestselling Mitford novels have been captivated by Jan Karon?s ?gift for illuminating the struggles that creep into everyday lives?along with a vividly imagined world? (People). They learned quickly that ?after you?ve spent time in Mitford, you?ll want to come back? (Chicago Tribune). Millions eagerly awaited the publication of each novel, relishing the story of the bookish and bighearted Episcopal priest and the extraordinary fullness of his seemingly ordinary life.

Now, Jan Karon enchants us with the story of the newly retired priest?s spur-of-the-moment adventure. For the first time in decades, Father Tim returns to his birthplace, Holly Springs, Mississippi, in response to a mysterious, unsigned note saying simply: ?Come home.? Little does he know how much these two words will change his life. A story of long-buried secrets, forgiveness, and the wonder of discovering new people, places, and depth of feeling, Home to Holly Springs will enthrall new readers and longtime fans alike.

Author Bio

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."

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."

Publisher's Weekly

Karon's bestselling series of Mitford novels has concluded with 25 million copies sold to date, but to the relief of eager fans, she introduces a new series featuring Father Tim. The beloved Episcopal priest returns to his childhood town of Holly Springs, Miss., where he reconnects with old friends and battles some old demons. The novel is thick with Father Tim's past, as Karon uses flashbacks to shed light on his early adulthood, especially his transition to seminary. In Holly Springs, his penchant for getting near strangers to open up to him—and his earnest, moving reflections on faith, prayer and the risks of love—are reassuringly present. His wife, Cynthia, is on stage far less than he, but when she appears, she is charming and insightful, as usual. Yet the book is far from perfect. Development of the quirky locals in Holly Springs is thin, and the end is a tad abrupt. Most frustratingly, the central drama of the novel falls flat: Father Tim discovers a long-buried family secret, but he doesn't grapple deeply enough with the emotional consequences of his discovery, nor does Karon fully explore the ways in which the secret plunges us into the Southern quagmire of race. Still, Mitford fans will enjoy this newest visit with wise, winsome, lovable Father Tim. (Oct. 30) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

“Far from Mitford and his beloved wife Cynthia, Father Tim Kavanagh enters unfamiliar emotional territory in the town of his birth.

When he receives a letter postmarked Holly Springs, Miss., that contains a cryptic two-word message written in a precise, old-fashioned hand, Father Tim decides to answer its call and return to his birthplace for the first time in 38 years. On the long drive, he faces unanswered questions and half-forgotten memories: What happened to his boyhood chum and blood brother, Tommy? What caused his father's melancholy that bordered on cruelty? What happened to Peggy, the adored black caregiver who disappeared when he was 11? Who is trying to contact him, and why? As Father Tim awaits the letter writer, he is showered by blessings: He finds that his hometown has been beautifully restored, and he makes peace with an old flame. When the summons comes, it brings both joy and betrayal. He is reunited with his beloved Peggy, only to learn a terrible secret: She was carrying his father's child when she disappeared. When Peggy reveals that Henry, her son and Tim's half-brother, has leukemia and can only survive with a transfusion from a compatible sibling, Tim has to struggle to reach the decision he knows is right. In this setting away from home, we see Father Tim in a new light as he wrestles with his past and explores the origins of his religious convictions. The saga veers into magical theater as Karon (Cynthia Coppersmith's Violet Comes to Stay, 2006, etc.) ties up every loose end in Tim's past. But readers who miss Mitford's colorful eccentrics will be satisfied by Holly Springs's ample supply of quirky characters.

Karon's deft interweaving of past and present infuses the Mitford saga with new energy.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Product Reviews

4.4 Stars Out Of 5
4.4 out of 5
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 46
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  1. Nova Scotia Canada
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Home to Holly Springs
    October 4, 2014
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Home to Holly Springs, Father Tim Series #1.
    This book led me in a totally different and unexpected direction from the other Mitford books. It took us down many personal roads with Father Tim and gave greater insights into his past, revealing a more human side than the picture I held of him as the respected rector of Lord's Chapel, perfect in every way. I found it was a different kind of read. I was picking up the book with more anticipation in some parts, re-reading some places to make sure that I had read it right. At first, I wasn't sure that I might have been a little disappointed by the story line but, upon reflection, it enlightened the reader about so many small mentions in the first Mitford series. The shocker in the revelation of Henry threw me for a loop and, even at the end of Somewhere Safe, Father Tim was left with uneasy feelings about the situation in which his father had placed him and whether or not he felt comfortable letting out his secret. So much like the situations of today, even though it happened many years ago for him. I have come to the conclusion that I will enjoy re-reading this book many times. I was upset to see some language that, although it was probably used because that was the way the people talked, to me was unnecessary. However, over all, Jan Karon has done it again!
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Father Tim and Mitford novels get better and better
    July 25, 2014
    Terra Hangen
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book is an unexpected treat. It follows Father Tim at age 70 as he visits his childhood hometown of Holly Springs, at the behest of a letter with two words in it: Come Home.

    Karon is ever deeper as a writer and I felt tears of joy toward the end of the book, due to Tim being so kind and so sensitive, and following God as best he can. Mysteries about Tims mom, father, childhood friends who he still misses, his caregiver Peggy who ran away, so many people he had not seen in 39 years, since his leaving town. Tim is stunned by his discovery of a very close kin he had no idea he had. Karon writes a rich and engaging book, even better than her Mitford books, which also rate a five from me.
  3. Salem, IL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    good story that could have been told much better
    March 19, 2012
    Wayne S. Walker
    Salem, IL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    This review was written for Home to Holly Springs, Father Tim Series #1.
    Seventy-year-old Timothy Kavanaugh, the now retired Episcopalian minister of Jan Karon's beloved Mitford series, who lives in Mitford, NC, with his wife, the former Cynthia Coppersmith, and their adopted son Dooley, receives a mysterious, unsigned letter postmarked Holly Springs, MS, which simply tells him to "Come home." Cynthia has broken her ankle and Dooley is in college, so Tim hops in the car with his huge dog Barnabas and drives alone to Holly Springs, where he was born and raised but hasn't been back in forty years. There he looks for long-lost friends, confronts the ghosts of the past, and wrestles with the demons of his upbringing. But will he ever find who wrote the note and what it is all about? And if he does, what will he do about it?

    I read and enjoyed At Home in Mitford, the first of Karon's Mitford series, but have not read any of the others which follow. However, when my wife bought this book, the first in Karon's new Father Tim series, I decided to read it. While set in time subsequent to the last Mitford novel, it covers the early days of Tim and his family in Holly Springs via numerous flashbacks and reminiscences. USA Today says, "This is Karon's most emotionally complex novel." One could take "emotionally complex" as a synonym for "morally ambiguous." At Home in Mitford, and I am told the other Mitford novels, have a certain light-hearted charm. Most reader-reviewers of Home to Holly Springs liked it, but a significant number of people who loved Mitford did not like this book because of its psychological nature, uneven narrative, lack of charm, tedious detail, and especially the stories of teenage sex, unwed pregnancy, attempted rape, and adultery. My wife was among those who did not care for it as well as the Mitford books.

    Jan Karon is a good writer, and I found that the book has an interesting plot line, although it does drag a little at times. There are many positive aspects to it. However, one's final decision about the book might hinge on how one views Tim's reaction to learning about his father's adultery. Does he feel that it's something in the past that can't be changed and he simply goes on from there without necessarily condoning what happened? Or does he come to believe that maybe the fact that his father found someone with whom he could show the love that he never gave Tim's mother is just one of those facets of life and he shouldn't be judgmental? I would like to think that it's the former, but my wife concluded that it might have been the latter. Aside from this, there are a few instances of drinking whiskey. As to language, in addition to some common euphemisms and childish slang terms for body parts and functions, several references to the "s" word that was written on the water tower are found, although the word itself is never used, the words God and Lord are uttered a couple of times as interjections, and the "d" word modifies "Yankees" once and is part of the name of a mule owned by Tim's childhood friend mentioned a number of times. The worst for me is that someone is said to be "white a**," or to "kick a**," or to be "bad a**," or to be "hard a**," or to be a "pain in the a**," or to be a "rat's a**," or to say "my a**." Karon may have chosen such language because she thinks that it makes her characters sound "authentic." I think that it just makes them sound annoying. I like the fact that Tim is always acknowledging God and His grace, and the story does have a happy ending, but I think that it could have been told in a much better way.
  4. Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 3, 2012
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Home to Holly Springs, Father Tim Series #1.
    I've read and enjoyed all of the books in the Mitford series and found this one to be a bit different, though very enjoyable. I have a tough time letting go of Father Tim and am eager for more.
  5. Flower Mound, TX
    Age: 55-65
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Father Tim novels are uplifting!
    February 2, 2012
    Flower Mound, TX
    Age: 55-65
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Home to Holly Springs, Father Tim Series #1.
    If you enjoyed the Mitford Series, you will also love Home to Holly Springs with Father Tim and his friends. He is a such a good priest, and the books are so encouraging yet deal with life's good side and bad side.
Displaying items 1-5 of 46
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