At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon (1994)

It’s rare that I read a contemporary fiction book (presuming that a book written in 1994 would be in that category) but I have two good friends who loved At Home in Mitford, as well as its sequels, so I decided to read the first book in the series.
Mitford is a charming fictional village modelled on a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Father Tim, a conservative 60 year old Episcopalian priest and bachelor, is the main character. He has been the rector at Mitford for twelve years and is feeling exhausted, fatigued and low in spirits. He needs a holiday but doesn’t feel he can go away and leave his congregation.

To complicate matters, a very large dog turns up and adopts him, he takes on the care of a neglected young boy with atrocious manners, and he falls in love with his new neighbour.
At Home in Mitford is a gentle book to delve into if you need to take a breath, slow down, and find comfort in the little ordinary things that we tend to miss when life is busy.

“Y’know, Preacher, th’ more things you own, th’ more you’re owned by things.”

If you like Elizabeth Goudge’s writing you’d probably enjoy Karon’s. I enjoyed immersing myself in the lives of the people of Mitford and will be giving it to my 15 yr old daughter to read.

‘What had he done all those years with no dog and no boy, just the everlasting monotony of his own company? He supposed he hadn’t noticed very much that he was alone, proving the old adage that “you can’t miss what you never had.\”’

10 thoughts on “At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon (1994)

  1. I hope 1995 can be considered contemporary! :DI often see books from this series and have wondered what they are about. I think the name \”Mitford\” just catches the eye. I assumed they took place in the UK, but the U.S. South? Interesting. It's also wonderful to find a long running series that one enjoys. These can be such a comfort at times.

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  2. Hi Mudpuddle, you should be able to find her books in your libraries. She’s a NY Times best seller & we actually have them here in Sustralia, which isn’t always the case.

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  3. I’ve read the whole series and I not only loved the character development, but the fact you can pick it up at any time…read a few sentences or a few chapters, and feel you’ve just visited dear trusted friends. Especially comforting was “At Home in Holly Springs,” about Father Tim becoming a stem cell donor to a leukemia patient. I was reading this, surprisingly, at the time I was living with my adult son who was going through the same thing. Jan Karon’s ability to simply teach God’s truth through her characters, sustained me during this dark time in my life, especially reminding me to offer prayers of thanksgiving for Every. Single. Thing. Even the leukemia. This changed me. Saved me from the depth of my fear. It was a turning point for us all. As a reader, you will enjoy not only how the characters develop in the series, but how Jan develops as a writer.

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  4. Hi Peggy, thanks for your comment. That sense of thankfulness was something I appreciated in At Home at Mitford & I will certainly look for the book you mentioned. What a beautiful gift you received from it. 🙂

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  5. I absolutely love the Mitford books! I just started the tenth book today. I listen to them on audiobook and the first nine had the same narrator/voice actor, who sounded like what I imagine Father Tim would sound like (he is an older gentleman) and he does a fantastic job with all the accents of the different characters. I was incredibly sad today when I started the tenth book and it had a very young sounding voice actor! It just doesn't feel the same!

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