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Shepherds Abiding (Mitford Book 8) by [Karon, Jan]
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Shepherds Abiding (Mitford Book 8) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 313 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Karon works more homespun magic with this latest uplifting story set in sleepy Mitford, N.C. Father Timothy Kavanagh, stalwart of the Mitford series, is approaching 70 when he comes across pieces of an old English nativity scene at his friend Andrew Gregory's antique shop. The set has definitely seen better days, and Andrew is hoping that someone will volunteer to restore it. Who better than Father Tim, who seems to have reached a turning point in his life and needs a project to distract him? Inspired by memories of a manger from his childhood that was destroyed in a rainstorm, Father Tim, after much deliberation, takes up the cause, planning to surprise his artist wife, Cynthia. Meanwhile, Hope Winchester, manager of Mitford's Happy Endings bookshop, learns that the shop is in danger of closing at the end of the year and struggles to save it and make it her own. Tear-jerking moments and humorous scenes featuring Mitford's more ornery denizens make for a cozily familiar trip into town. The restoration of the creche proves to be transformative for Father Tim, and a snowy Christmas Eve brings happiness to everyone in Mitford. Steering readers far from the "craziness and commerce of Christmas," Karon stays true to the adage that all things are possible with hard work, ingenuity and a little faith. Written in light, breezy prose that shimmers with faith and good hope, Karon's story goes down like hot cocoa by the fireplace. The author's warm spirituality and vibrant holiday spirit make this heartwarming eighth series entry a welcome one.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Welcome home Mitford fans . . . to Karon's gift for illuminating the struggles that creep into everyday lives--along with a vividly imagined world."

Product Details

  • File Size: 1514 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0142004855
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (September 28, 2004)
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2004
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OCXGLE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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