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Literary Friday: The Mitford Series by Jan Karon

Friday, August 7, 2020

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm sharing with you the Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  It's a bit of a round-up post because I've read five of them lately.  I decided I needed an escape, and there's no place better on the planet than fictitious Mitford, North Carolina (based on Blowing Rock, North Carolina).  Jan Karon wrote most of the series while living in Blowing Rock.

There are fourteen books in the series, so I am well on my way!  The most recent book was published in 2017.

This is a map of Mitford.  It's a dream hometown.  I could live in a little town like this!  Anything you could possibly want or need is there.

At Home in Mitford is the first book in the series.  I will write a full review for it, and mini reviews for the others.  The books should be read in the order in which I've listed them.

According to Goodreads:

Enter the world of Mitford, and you won't want to leave.

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable.

Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's sixty years old.

Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich, provincial comedy in which mysteries and miracles abound.

My Review:

I absolutely love this book (and series).  It's just what I've needed during these crazy times.  The book has an ensemble of characters who are hard to forget long after finishing the book.  Father Tim, an Episcopal Priest and rector at Lord's Chapel Church, is a bachelor in his late fifties (maybe early sixties).  He's never been married, yet he falls pretty hard for his beautiful, slightly younger new neighbor, Cynthia.  They start making a trail between the hedges of their homes, and it's obvious that Cynthia has fallen for Tim, too.  But Tim has competition in town: a dapper antique salesman who wines and dines Cynthia at the Country Club.  Father Tim does not like this one little bit!  

Tim has a lot on his plate.  He's adopted a tremendously huge dog named Barnabas who can be controlled by the recitation of scripture, and he's taken-in a troubled boy whose grandfather was the gardener at Lord's Chapel.  There is more than one mystery in this book: one involves family secrets from one of the founding families of the town, and the other is a crime mystery.  This book has a lot of comedy, intrigue, and flirty romance.

But that's not all.  What I love most about this book is that it is written from a Christian perspective, and it is very inspirational.  Scripture is often quoted (and not just for controlling Barnabas), and it truly warms the heart.  Hallmark made a movie based on the book, with Andie MacDowell playing the children's writer and author Cynthia and Cameron Mathieson playing Father Tim.  Have you seen it yet?  I haven't, but I'd like to.

This installment has Cynthia moving back to New York to finish illustrating her current book.  She's on a strict deadline, and she's housesitting for her agent while he's in Europe.  Tim does not like it one little bit.  He has only himself to blame because Cynthia wanted to go steady, but Tim was too slow to respond.  There is a lot of crossed-purposes between the two, but it has a very happy ending!

This book was not written third, but it should be read third because the action in it follows the second book.

A Common Life is hilarious!  It's mostly about Tim and Cynthia's wedding.  I actually read it years ago not knowing it was part of a series, so it stands alone fairly well.  I couldn't put this one down, and it might be my favorite of the series so far.

These High, Green Hills is a bit sad because we share with Tim the more difficult duties of being a priest.  Also, there is a bit of suspense as Cynthia and Tim get into a bit of danger on a camping trip with the church's youth group.  But there are a few bright spots as Father Tim has a very important epiphany, and Cynthia attempts to transform the rectory into her distinct style.

This is the one I'm currently reading.  Out to Canaan refers to Father Tim's decision on retirement, and he and Cynthia make plans for adventures together.  And these aren't the only changes threatening Mitford: there's a new mayoral candidate threatening the status quo; Sweet Stuff Bakery might be closing; and there are plans in the works for a new spa in one of Mitford's grand homes.  I am loving this book so far!

This is the only book I own in the series, and I think it might be the tenth one.  I'll get there eventually!  ;P

What are you reading now?  Do you have a favorite book series?  Please share in comments!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. All of these sound so great. I love finding reads like this especially with all that is going on. You can escape into a book for a little while each day is such a gift. I am going to check these out. Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo Kris

  2. This is one of my favorite series. And we have the CDs downloaded onto our IPODS to listen to when we travel. They are so entertaining. I know you would enjoy the audio books! Really fun review. I'm reading a series by Michael Stanley set in Botswana...and loving it!

  3. Sounds interesting and something I would like

  4. Been my home of refuge for my years of hardship. Comforted me, sustained me in my times of need. When the world was closing in, I'd go home to Mitford.

  5. I read the series many years ago, and fell in love with the characters. I need to read the newest books in the series and watch the movie. Happy reading!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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