Books by Jan Karon

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

Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"The latest entry in Karon's Mitford series (Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, 2014, etc.) continues with all the beloved characters, down-home charm, and deep faith in God that are the hallmarks so beloved of fans."
A simple farm wedding faces many unanticipated challenges. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 2, 2014

"After a long hiatus, Karon (Light From Heaven, 2005, etc.) has returned with a novel that offers something for those who believe and those who do not. All the beloved quirky characters are here, the past is neatly summarized and the future, full of hope."
Father Tim Kavanagh ponders the past and looks to the future in Mitford, his beloved North Carolina mountain town. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 19, 2010

"Readers who are not devoted followers of Karon may be impatient with the glacial pace of this installment."
Book two of Karon's new series about an Episcopal priest, The Father Tim Novels (Home to Holly Springs, 2007), continues as Father Tim's long-awaited Ireland vacation turns into a busman's holiday. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 30, 2007

"Karon's deft interweaving of past and present infuses the Mitford saga with new energy."
Far from Mitford and his beloved wife Cynthia, Father Tim Kavanagh enters unfamiliar emotional territory in the town of his birth. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Three adorable kittens are born in a kitchen pantry. Their mother explains that their game playing is really training to kill mice, which is their job. Violet is the last kitten chosen, first by the plant nurseryman, then the bakery woman. But each time, Violet remembers Mom's mousing rules too late: prowl quietly, plan your leap carefully and pounce boldly. Both times when she's brought back, her mother tells her, "God has a plan for each of us." In her third home, a bookstore with a nice lady named Alice, Violet finally catches a mouse but lets it escape. "Mice are nuisances," comforts Alice, "but they're God's creatures, too. We'll find other ways of keeping them out." McCully's style of quick-sketch lines and realistic scenes are charming and convey the affectionate tone of the text. The title will be puzzling for people unfamiliar with Jan Karon's Mitford Years series: "Cynthia Coppersmith" is a main character in those novels, who writes and illustrates books about her cat, Violet. First of an intended series about Violet that will, no doubt, continue the pious messages. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: April 16, 2001

Father Timothy Kavanagh is about to marry his winsome neighbor Cynthia Coppersmith, and all of Mitford (A New Song, 1999, etc.) is abuzz. Such goings-on! So many exclamation points!Read full book review >
A NEW SONG by Jan Karon
Released: April 1, 1999

This fifth installment in Karon's popular Mitford Saga (Out to Canaan, 1997, etc.) follows Father Tim Kavanagh and his wife, Cynthia, as they wander farther afield to Whitecap Island, North Carolina. Now retired from his longtime post as rector of the Episcopal parish of Mitford, Father Tim accepts a position as "interim minister" at a parish on a small coastal island just off the nearby Outer Banks. Karon is an old-fashioned writer'she even addresses her opening lines to a Gentle Reader—and much of her story revolves around the homely details of cooking, socializing, and keeping house that are familiar to any minister's wife or daughter. But domestic crises arise as well, and Father Tim and Cynthia both have to find ways to help parishioners who suffer from loneliness, depression, and other (usually secret) griefs. Much of their concern is for Dooley Barlowe, a‘'mountain boy" Tim took into his home at Mitford five years before and raised almost as his own son, sending him to a Virginia prep school for education and guidance. Dooley, now in his teens, has stayed behind in Mitford but soon finds himself back in the kind of trouble from which Father Tim and Cynthia have worked hard to extract him. A story of small traumas and small victories, Karon's account manages to avoid the worst excesses of sentimentality and to provide a rather charming portrait of life in the slow lane. (Literary Guild selection; author tour) Read full book review >
OUT TO CANAAN by Jan Karon
Released: May 1, 1997

More literary comfort food, as Karon agreeably records another year in Mitford, the small town where every problem has a human face and where Father Tim, the Episcopalian rector, is always there to help. Again, like its three predecessors (These High, Green Hills, 1996, etc.), Karon's latest continues the stories of now-familiar Mitford citizens. And again, always at the heart of the action is 60-something Father Tim Kavanagh, who, with wife Cynthia, an author and illustrator, is now ``getting ready to. . . go out to Canaan''- -to retire. Kavanagh is one of those rare literary creations—a credible good man whose goodness comes from faith, humility, and a zest for life. He is a loving pastor who's ever ready to respond to his flock's needs. And needs they have. When Lace, the young girl he rescued from a violent father, is unable to help the ailing Harley, who once took care of her, Tim gives him a home in the rectory; he also helps recovering alcoholic Pauline find work, as well as the baby daughter she gave away; and he advises Winnie, owner of the local bakery, on how to thwart a crooked realtor. Meanwhile, there's a mayoral election to contend with, as Esther Cunningham is challenged by the suspiciously free-spending Mack Stroupe. And a Florida company wants to turn Fernbank, a Mitford landmark, into a spa. While Tim responds to crises, major and minor, he is poignantly aware that his days as a rector are numbered. But as he drives around on Christmas Eve, there's still much to celebrate (``if there were a poll-tax on joy this night of nights, he'd be dead broke''). A heart-warmer that diverts the spirit as it uncloyingly celebrates life in all its quirkiness in a small town. (First printing of 100,000; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour) Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

The literary equivalent of comfort food in a tale of middle- aged love in Mitford, a fictional North Carolina small town: a novel that restores rather than provokes as it deftly portrays men and women caught up in the human condition. Like its popular predecessors (At Home in Mitford and A Light in the Window, not reviewed), the author's latest celebrates the lives of several Mitford citizens while offering vignettes of many more. As the story opens, 60ish Episcopalian Rector Father Tim Kavanagh has just returned from his honeymoon. A longtime bachelor, he is touchingly surprised by the joy marriage to neighbor Cynthia has brought him. Cynthia, a children's book author and illustrator, is not, however, a traditional clergyman's wife—a shocking bit of news for Tim's secretary Emma and the Episcopal Church Women. Thanks, though, to a splendid parish tea party—a tea for which Cynthia redecorates the rectory and provides delicious food—the ladies are mollified. In the year that passes, the holidays (both religious and secular) are celebrated; the community reaffirms its identity; and the deaths of the town's oldest inhabitant and of a child are balanced by the birth of twins to Tim's young housekeeper. Meanwhile, though the setting is pastoral and the people good-hearted, Mitford is as subject to change and horror as the outside world. Misogynist J.C., the editor of the local paper, amazes the townsfolk by marrying Mitford's first woman police officer; Lacey, a young girl, though badly beaten by her father, refuses to leave home because she must care for her bedridden mother; Pauline Barlowe is set on fire by the man she lives with; and Tim's faith is sorely tested and then reaffirmed. Such a small canvas framed by faith could easily be smug and anodyne, but it's not: Karon is one of those rare writers who can depict the good and the ordinary without being boring or condescending. A book to curl up with. (Author tour) Read full book review >