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Shepherds Abiding (The Mitford Years, Book 8) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 28, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (September 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142004855
  • ASIN: B001O9CF3Q
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Esther Bolick, mayor of Karon's beloved make-believe Mitford, bakes a marmalade cake for Christmas that is as sweet as her hometown. Her story, Esther's Gift, and The Mitford Snowmen--"both included in this holiday collection--are previously published, stocking stuffer--sized narratives that Karon's fans have mostly likely already consumed with zeal, but the title novel is fresh entertainment that Mitford aficionados can enjoy while they do their own holiday baking. Sounding like Santa himself might, reader McDonough rumbles out these cheery tales, using dramatic pauses, lilting character voices and, at times, simple a cappella renditions of hymns to convey the upbeat innocence of the town and its residents. Choir music by Journey of the Soul fills the gaps between the novel and short stories, soaring as high as listeners' emotions will when Father Tim presents a restored nativity scene to his wife, Cynthia, on Christmas Eve. Though this audio production may be too cloying for some listeners, others will be buoyed by McDonough's jovial narration and the novel's inspirational themes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Since he was a boy growing up in Mississippi, Father Tim has lived what he calls "the life of the mind." Except for cooking and gardening and washing his dog, he never learned to savor the work of his hands. And then he finds a derelict nativity scene--twenty figures, including a flock of sheep, that have suffered the indignities of time and neglect.

Could he give the small company new life? Restore the camel's ear, repaint every piece, replace a missing nose on a wise man? "You can't teach an old dog new tricks!" he reminds himself. It's when he imagines the excitement in Cynthia's eyes that he steps up to the plate--and begins a small journey of faith that touches everyone around him.

The eight novel in the bestselling Mitford Years series is a mediation on the best of all presents--the gift of one's heart. Lovingly written and beautifully illustrated, it seeks to restore the true Christmas spirit and give everyone a seat at Mitford's holiday table. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jan Karon is the author of the bestselling series of nine Mitford novels featuring Father Timothy Kavanagh, an Episcopal priest, and the fictional village of Mitford. Set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karon's Mitford books include At Home in Mitford; A Light in the Window; These High, Green Hills; Out to Canaan; A New Song; A Common Life: The Wedding Story; In This Mountain; Shepherd's Abiding; and Light from Heaven. The Father Tim Novels include "Home to Holly Springs" and last fall's release of "In the Company of Others," set in County Sligo, Ireland. There are over 40 million Mitford and Father Tim novels, childrens books, and CDs in print.

Customer Reviews

It just FEELS GOOD to read these books.
Lois S
I really enjoyed all of the Mitford books, and would highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys good clean books!!
Kathleen McCause
I enjoyed the book and continued to read the entire series.
Barbie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Knutson on November 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I picked up the newest installment in the Mitford series from my church library. Yes, the margins are pushed in and yes I wished for more...but I was blessed with what was there. The story of Father Tim's Christmas was exactly what I needed. It is a story of faith, faith in doing what you didn't imagine you could do, faith in hoping for something you never dreamed of having, and faith in the simplicity of the lives of our Mitford family. The book is setting the stage for the end of the series where we may see the conclusion of all the loose threads, will Kenny be found, will Father Tim and Cynthia travel to Ireland, will Dooley stay a Barlowe or become a Kavanagh...these are worth waiting for, in detail and in depth.
To get to enjoy Christmas in Mitford makes this book worth my time to enjoy the story. But most of all it gave me faith when I needed to replenish my soul.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By R. A. H. on November 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The encouragement and peace I enjoy most when reading a Mitford story are all here in Shepherds Abiding. I have not been disappointed with the length of the book as some of the other reviewers. Instead I have been thrilled because I have been comparing the length of this holiday season release with the two previous holiday books by Jan Karon, Mitford Snowmen and Esther's Gift. Several months ago I understood that there would be one final novel in the Mitford Series--and I believe that is still the case with release projected for 2005, and so considered the release of Sheperds Abiding a wonderful surprise. It is a wonderful reflection on the holiday season.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Jan Karon's latest offering is a sparkling Christmas card and a celebration of the deeper meaning of the Advent season. The story revolves around Father Tim's efforts at restoring an old Nativity scene as a surprise for Cynthia's Christmas and also includes flashbacks into his own Christmases growing up in Mississippi. All the beloved Mitford characters are here -- each celebrating in their own way. I loved the way Ms. Karon further explored the story of Hope and Scott, and Uncle Billy's attempts to come up with Rose's Christmas gift were a joy. She has also laid the groundwork for some of the events that might happen in the next and final book of the "Mitford" series -- and oh, how I hate to see it end! My only complaint about this book, and it's a tiny one, is that I wish it had been longer. I hated to turn the last page and finish this book! However, I plan to reread it during the actual Advent season, and I think it will enrich my own celebration. Thanks, Jan Karon, for another wonderful book! You have blessed my life with this entire series.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I, too, was disappointed at the shorter book, I always find it enjoyable to sit down with Jan Karon's delightful cast of characters. I had been hoping for a more in-depth story that would take us further along in Father Tim's journey and explore more of the story lines that have been hinted at in past installments of the Mitford series. For example, will Father Tim find Kenny, the last missing Barlowe sibling? And when will Dooley discover that he is a millionaire? But we will have to wait until the final book to find out the answers to these questions.
What I did find in Shepherds Abiding was a book very similar to A Common Life. While not as in-depth, the story gave us a better look into the thoughts and personalities of other residents of Mitford. We have only known Hope Winchester and Lew Boyd on a fairly superficial level up until now, and it was wonderful to get more insight into their lives and, particularly, their spiritual journeys. However, I did miss some of the characters that generally play a bigger role, such as Dooley and Cynthia.
Nothing terribly exciting or dramatic happens in Shepherds Abiding. But that's never the case with life in Mitford - it's the characters and walking with them through the ups and downs of everyday life that give Jan Karon's books their charm.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By V. L. Wilson on October 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Everyone will love this inspiring book. This author never fails to deliver a winner. I have all her books and bought this one the moment it appeared in the bookstores. This Christmas I will buy the entire series for family members to keep and enjoy and share. Thank you Jan Karon for this early Christmas gift to the world from you.
The characters in this book are so real. I agree fully with all the other reviews - it was far too short - we want more and more of this series. No matter what church you attend or what your philosphy of life is, you will relate to the town of Mitford and its cast of characters. Father Tim is like a trusted comfortable friend. Words cannot express my admiration for this author and her insights.
This is a book you want to go back to and memorize some parts, underline passages, and just apply the nuggets of wisdom to your own life.
I strongly recommend this book - it is food for the soul - makes you feel happy inside.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had feared that this latest addition to the Mitford series would be another lightweight story like "A Common Life" (which I enjoyed, but which was really little more than a lengthy short story about Father Tim's & Cythia's wedding.)Although this book isn't the eagerly-awaited next full-length novel in the series, it is more than just a one-note Christmas story like "Esther's Gift." Several of the secondary characters like Hope Winchester and Lew Boyd have their stories fleshed out and carried forward quite a bit. There are also some other subplots involving beloved characters like the Moseleys and Uncle Billy, so that the primary story of Father Tim and his nativity set isn't the only thing going on. All in all, although I'm still anxiously awaiting the next "real" novel in the series, this was a pleasant surprise and worth the price (especially at the discounted rate!)
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