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A Common Life: The Wedding Story Paperback – March 26, 2002
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All the details cherished by those who are enchanted by weddings are offered here, from the color of the bridal outfit (aquamarine) to the choice of flowers (virgin's bower and hydrangeas). When the wedding bells finally ring, the pews are packed with the people who make Mitford special: ornery Uncle Billy, delightful Miss Sadie, indispensable Louella, and the cantankerous Emma Newland. And there's not a dry eye in the house when Father Tim's problematic foster child Dooley Barlowe sings for the two people who love him the most.
A Common Life is not just a wedding story. It's also an intimate portrait of the unfolding love between Cynthia and the shy Father Tim, complete with fears and hesitations, professions of commitment, and Barnabas the dog delivering love letters. But there's nothing heavy-handed here. The tensions don't run any higher than wondering if Cynthia will make it to the wedding on time after getting locked inside her own bathroom, or guessing if Esther will make her famous three-layer orange marmalade cake for the reception. Told in the warm, down-home style that Karon has built her reputation on, A Common Life is sweet without being saccharine, charming without being cloying. It's an invitation to a literary reunion of the best kind, and like all weddings, it will probably coax a few tears and plenty of smiles. --Cindy Crosby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A Common Life tells the story of Father Tim's acceptance of the importance and neccessity of Cynthia in his life. After proposing, the couple encounters the typical problems, jitters and joys that most engaged couples do. And as expected, the whole town of Mitford is getting into the celebration: Hessie Mayhew is in charge of the flowers, Esther Bollick is waiting for her invitation to bake the cake, and Uncle Joe is busily searching for the best joke to tell at the reception. And of course the wedding couldn't come off without at least a small hitch -- at 10 minutes after starting time, Cynthia is nowhere to be found...
Jan Karon has written another pleasing and endearing story. It is written in the same beautiful, classy way as the others, and any Mitford fan will consider this novel to be a wonderful addition to the series. Having said that, I can see where some readers could be disappointed if they were reading the books in order since A Common Life (#6) does not continue with the story where #5 stopped but instead goes back in time to between #2 and #3. However, despite which order you read it (and I recommend #6 after #2), I believe A Common Life is a treasure and perfect as a gift for any engaged or newly married couple as it celebrates a wonderful and simple romance. Looking forward to continuing on with the third book in the series. I know I won't be disappointed.
A COMMON LIFE is a lorgniette-view of characters about whom we have come to care during the single event about which we would most like to know every detail. The book delivers - but we'll never stop wanting more, because Jan's storytelling gift has made room for itself permanently for so many.
One thing I enjoyed about this book is that several different characters narrate it. In the other Mitford books (thus far) everything is narrated from Father Tim's perspective. But here we are privy to the thoughts and observations of other well-known characters, such as: Esther Bolick, Uncle Billy Watson, and Mayor Cunningham. I think this change of structure works well for this particular installment. It gives us a fuller view of that most dramatic of events: the marriage of a beloved old bachelor. Let's face it; if it were up to Father Tim to remember the events surrounding his wedding to Cynthia, we wouldn't have much to work with because he had too much going on around him.
This book is slimmer than the others, perhaps offering less story than fans are used to. One compensatory value might be that it has a nice two-color interior design.
I recommend _A Common Life_ to fans of the series mainly on the virtue of its unique structure, giving voice to other familiar characters
I'm sure that Jan Karon is under great pressure from her publisher to write MORE, MORE, MORE Mitford books, and they would like to have one a year from her. Well, she won't do that; she can't do that. So we wait longer between books and receive stories of astonishing depth and quality. This novella reminds us how desperate we are for the next in the series.
I have to admit that I think the publisher's price and the packaging are a bit deceiving -- the double-spacing and wide margins feel like an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. But don't blame Jan Karon -- she is like her character, Cynthia Coppersmith... she agonizes over her deadlines and worries that her work isn't up to her readers' expectations.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think this book should be read before "A New Song". They send the couple to a new ministry then they tell about the wedding. Seems like it is out of sequence. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Love the Mitford series and was thrilled the wedding of Father Tim to Cynthia was brought to life in "A Common Life... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mrs. Wendy M. Kulterman
AS usual, Jan Karon is a master storyteller who creates lovely characters full of human flaws and Godly love.Published 3 months ago by Bea
Its in line with the other Mitford books Jan has written. Very good.Published 3 months ago by mike sweedo
This book is one of my favorites of the series. Written very well. Never a dull moment.Published 4 months ago by Alaska Mom