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281 of 290 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Long Wait is Over
It's been three LONG years since Jan Karon's last book and it's been a LONG wait. I fell in love with the Mitford series a few years ago and have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. The first book in the Father Tim series introduced us to another side of everyone's favorite reverend as he discovers another side of his family he didn't know had existed. This...
Published on October 19, 2010 by Deborah

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166 of 175 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing Mitford
I certainly agree with Deborah's review. I miss Mitford, too. I had so looked forward to this newest Father Tim book and pre-ordered it so I could have it immediately upon publication. Like Deborah, I found the long journal passages boring. I never did figure out who the live people were, much less the dead ones. There were just too many characters introduced over too...
Published on October 20, 2010 by Gordie


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281 of 290 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Long Wait is Over, October 19, 2010
It's been three LONG years since Jan Karon's last book and it's been a LONG wait. I fell in love with the Mitford series a few years ago and have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. The first book in the Father Tim series introduced us to another side of everyone's favorite reverend as he discovers another side of his family he didn't know had existed. This book takes him and his wife to Ireland, the land of his ancestors, where Father Tim plans on trying to have a relaxing vacations but other circumstances arise changing his plans.

I was really glad to see Cynthia reappear in this book. She was sadly missed in the previous volume and it was wonderful to see her again. I love her relationship with Father Tim as they have one of the most loving marriages I've seen written in literature. They love each other and get along but also have spats which make them realistic. I hope that when I'm in my golden age, my marriage will be like theirs. They have great chemistry together and I love reading about them. The story is rich in detail about Ireland, its culture and its people. I loved how the Irish people are shown speaking in dialect as it added cultural flavor to the story. The story is not filled with Irish stereotypes or cliches but instead added an international flavor to the story.

While I did enjoy the story, there were parts of this book that just were not to my liking. One is while the presence of Cynthia is much appreciated, I really missed Mitford and its citizens. While Father Tim is core to the story, the personalities of the townsfolk really add to the story with their zany antics and interesting backgrounds. I was excited to read emails from Dooley and Emma but it it just wasn't enough. I miss all of them! I also got a bit annoyed that Tim and Cynthia kept missing out on hanging out with Walter and Katherine. It was rotten luck but I always feel like we never get to spend time with Walter and Katherine and would have loved for the the two couples to team up. My final qualm was that even though the diary sections were crucial to the story, I found them to be very boring. I don't know if it was the way they were written or if I just felt that they were less exciting than the main story, but every time I got to the entries, I really wanted to skip over them.

Overall, except for these qualms, I did enjoy the book. I loved traveling to Ireland with the Kavanaghs and really felt as if I was there with them on vacation. The characters in the story, while not as enjoyable as the Mitford clan, were unique and interesting in their own way and gave the story a wonderful feel of Irish culture. I would love to visit Ireland one day (my husband's family is of Irish descent) and this book made me yearn for it even more. I hope that the wait won't be TOO long for the next book in this series. I enjoyed my stay with Father Tim and Cynthia and look forward to spending more time with them in the future.
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166 of 175 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing Mitford, October 20, 2010
I certainly agree with Deborah's review. I miss Mitford, too. I had so looked forward to this newest Father Tim book and pre-ordered it so I could have it immediately upon publication. Like Deborah, I found the long journal passages boring. I never did figure out who the live people were, much less the dead ones. There were just too many characters introduced over too short a period of time in this book. Their relationships with each other were complicated and difficult to follow. In the beloved Mitford series, the characters were quite believable and flowed more naturally. They weren't thrown into the story in bunches at a time. The Irish-accented English was difficult to follow throughout the book, as well. Though it was authentic to the characters, it made for slow reading. Too much excitement/bad luck/criminal activity/drama was introduced too quickly and dragged on too long. I had hoped Father Tim and Cynthia could have enjoyed a relaxing vacation and made some pleasant connections in the family homeland. However, this was not to be. I was glad to find out what was happening in Dooley's life back home in the U.S., but I didn't relate to these new, strange people in Ireland.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Long awaited...and a disappointment, November 9, 2010
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Although Jan Karon has stated in interviews that she is done with the Mitford series, I nonetheless preordered this book with the hope that I would find something of the old Father Tim there. Written in a faux-Irish accent, and interspersed with long passages from a journal that he and Cynthia discover at the lodge, also in an equally quaint Irish, the book soon moved from den to bedroom - a before-sleep read. While I was happy that Father Tim has finally learned to say "no" at age 70, why in heaven's name would he become so intimately involved in the problems of this family when this was to be Cynthia's birthday vacation, as well as his? Without giving away the plot for those who still wish to read it, it is simply implausible, the characters dull - must Liam broadcast the emotion of the moment on his face and need to "have a word" with Fr. Tim every day? And it seems that the phrase "into the bargain" is also used by the Irish villagers, which along with Uncle Billy's "don't you know," soon becomes annoying to me when I read her work. At nearly $30 a pop, I'll be certain to thumb through any future books by Ms. Karon before making a purchase. My advice would be that she hop into the Vauxhall, hie herself to the airport, and get back to Mitford, a town that has characters that have something to say, "please God." I have every single book written by this author, but am willing to donate this one to the local book sale. Can you go home again? You can if you love Mitford!
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75 of 84 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointed, October 26, 2010
Have read all of theMitford Series and was so looking forward to this. What a disappointment. Dialogue is at times very difficult to understand and I miss the characters from Mitford.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In the Company of Others, November 3, 2010
I find myself amoung those who are very disappointed in this book. I loved all of the Mitford books and this one certainly lacks the inspiration and charm of those novels. Don't like to be negative but this book has just become a chore to read to the end.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing . . . And Boring, November 5, 2010
I never thought I would be giving a Jan Karon book anything less than a 5-star review . . . but this book certainly pushed me to give a 1-star. I miss the Mitford characters like so many others mentioned. However, I knew this book would not be set in Mitford and bought it anyway. There just wasn't much to this book as far as a story line and the few plots included plodded along very slowly. The journal entries were very boring, in my opinion and didn't add anything to the story. And, because, there were so many characters introduced so quickly - yet not a very good description of any of them - I never really did connect with any of them and sometimes would forget who was who. I don't recommend this book at all.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cover Illustration Reveals Much, November 1, 2010
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Reader must be prepared for a story with an entirely different feel and flavor from Mitford series. I kept wondering as I read, "Was this written by someone else?" The writing style is significantly different...incomplete sentences, random thoughts, dialogue without indication of which character is speaking, and Father Tim is frequently referred to as merely "he". And the mood of the story is unexpected. If Mitford were a fabric collage the obvious choices would be bright gingham, calico, eyelets and wild but lovely plaids. In The Company of Others would require dark, heavy and dusty wools, brocade, damask and velvet. The illustration on cover features a threatening and stormy looking sky. It's perfect for this story. Basically, I didn't hate it but didn't enjoy it all that much.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEE-lightful, November 6, 2010
By 
Sandy Rhoad "Insatiable reader" (Branchville, SC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I must have been reading a book different from the other reviewers here. I found this book delightful, full of history and the kindness of the Irish - full of the beauty of Ireland, and I hated to leave. I wanted to stay with the family, read the rest of the diary, see how Bella turns out, hang the lost picture with Father Tim, eat "the full Irish" breakfast, sit on the bench outside the kitchen door, watch the swans, throw Pud's shoe with him and enjoy NOT being where I live. What a wonderful trip to Ireland without leaving your house. Of course, the added gift to me is that I am an O'Donnell AND a Fitzgerald. I am 4th generation Irish unable to return to the old sod. I
do love old diaries and I adore Father Tim and Cynthia. Whats the matter with you other readers? This was a great diversion from Mitford and an incredibly fun read. Ignore the others -- buy the book, brew a cup of tea, sink into your chair with a warm throw and laugh with the Irish.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not even finish it, November 2, 2010
I tried to get into this book and was the first person on the waiting list at our local library for it. So glad I did not purchase this one. I have read everything else she has written. After 100 pages I sent it back. Life is to short for boredom and there are many other books out there.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a vacation--sorry, November 2, 2010
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I've enjoyed the other books from Jan Karon, but this one isn't up to her previous writing and leaves a lot to be desired. Ireland is a magnet in itself and the people there are especially interesting, but somehow at least for me, the story line in this book dragged. I was determined to finish the novel, but I had to force myself to continue reading. And what's with the single quote for dialogue? Is there a shortage of ink? To use single quotes for the speakers and then throw in single quotes in the Irish dialect made muddy looking pages. And no doubt the sophomores will now take to single quotes for their required papers saying if it can be in a novel, it must be correct and satisfactory. I simply didn't enjoy this book and will hesitate to buy another from this writer.
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In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel
In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel by Jan Karon (Hardcover - October 19, 2010)
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