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Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Penguin Random House
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Father Tim
Thirty-eight years have passed since Father Tim Kavanagh left his Mississippi hometown, determined not to return. Then he receives a handwritten note postmarked Holly Springs. Cryptic and unsigned, it says only Come home. These two words compel him to make the most challenging journey of his life.
Traveling to his boyhood home doesnt merely take Father Tim across hundreds of miles. Thanks to a thousand sights and smells, he also travels back through memoriessome fond and some hes tried for nearly forty years to forget, from his quick-to-anger father and his lovingly tender mother to the picturesque small town hed tried desperately to leave behind. And once Father Tim discovers who was behind the mysterious note, a truth is revealed that will change his lifeforever.
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.”
Home to Holly Springs is author Jan Karons latest installment in the Mitford series. Holly Springs, Mississippi, is where Timothy Andrew Kavanaugh was born and raised. There were good memories associated with his childhood, especially those surrounding his mother, maternal grandparents, and friends. But the shadows, the unexplained behaviors of his father were so haunting that once his parents died, Timothy never returned.
Until now. The simple plea was the beginning of a fantastic journey, both physically and spiritually for Father Tim. Returning to Holly Springs, he pieces together the bits of memory with reality, and encounters old acquaintances, new friends, and precious loved ones. Along the way he finds understanding, forgiveness, grace, and love from sources he never imagined. Father Tims courageous journey proves that secrets lose their power when they are no longer secrets and in Gods miraculous economy, nothing is wasted. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, (Romans 8:28).
Emotionally intricate, Father Tims adventure brings the reader face-to-face with cruelty and bigotry, deep emotional pain that results in mental imbalance, the affects of behavior on future generations, and the unfathomable power of forgiveness and love.
Already a fan of Jan Karon and the Mitford series, I was eager to take this story with me on my own trip to South Carolina and Georgia. The richness of the dialogue, the believable characters, history, and human spirit woven into Home to Holly Springs still takes my breath away.
As an author of ten non-fiction titles, and now trying my hand at fiction, I appreciate how Karons gift as a storyteller shines in these pages, and her use of flashbacks is well penned. Of all of Karons excellent works, Home to Holly Springs is her best. For an added treat, listen to Home to Holly Springs as a recorded book. The readers talent with voices and accents brings an unparalleled depth to this well-written tale. PeggySue Wells, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"Lovely . . . This is Karons most emotionally complex novel."USA Today
"Karon holds varying aspects of humanity up to the light, from staggering cruelty . . . to the awesome power of love and forgiveness."The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Mitford fans will enjoy this newest visit with wise, winsome, lovable Father Tim."Publishers Weekly
margNova Scotia CanadaAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Home to Holly SpringsOctober 4, 2014margNova Scotia CanadaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This 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!
Terra Hangen5 Stars Out Of 5The Father Tim and Mitford novels get better and betterJuly 25, 2014Terra HangenQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This 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.
Wayne S. WalkerSalem, ILAge: 55-65Gender: male3 Stars Out Of 5good story that could have been told much betterMarch 19, 2012Wayne S. WalkerSalem, ILAge: 55-65Gender: maleSeventy-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.
hopefuloneAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5February 3, 2012hopefuloneAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5I'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.
JaniceFlower Mound, TXAge: 55-655 Stars Out Of 5Father Tim novels are uplifting!February 2, 2012JaniceFlower Mound, TXAge: 55-65Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5If 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.