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A Miracle for St. Cecilia's (Dorsetville)

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  229 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In the New England town of Dorsetville, the citizens are poor in worldly goods but rich in faith and compassion. For generations-long before the last woolen mill closed five years ago-Dorsetvillians have been bound together by the massive St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, slated to close after mass on Easter Sunday. On a bitter cold Ash Wednesday morning, Father James Flahert ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 24th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published August 5th 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Thalia
Okay, first, you must remember what kind of book this is. It's goody-goody, cozy and non-excitable. I loved the fact it was about Catholics AND it wasn't portraying us in a bad light, just ordinary Christians, practicing their faith. I thought the author did a commendable job of gently explaining "Catholic Stuff". The premise of the story was awesome. The only failure here was she could have taken it a little further. For example: Dear wifey, working, taking care of her cancer suffering husband, ...more
Elaine
In "A Miracle for St. Cecilia's," you won't find one main character who seems to tell the story.

Much to Father James and his church-goers' chagrin, St. Cecilia's isn't bringing in enough funds to keep it going and is scheduled to be shut down. The church is in great disrepair with leaky roofs and a heating system that regularly needs fixing. Father James has much concern for his parishioners' needs, both spiritual and otherwise. He was directed to find a nursing home for long-time Father Keene,
...more
bookczuk
Kind of Mitford-esque, but CAtholic, not Episcopal. I did get a kick out of a holograph of Mary as an idea for a substitute for a statue. Someone will probably try it some day, but I hope not in my parish!

FROM THE PUBLISHER
In the New England town of Dorsetville, the citizens are poor in worldly goods but rich in faith and compassion. For generations-long before the last woolen mill closed five years ago-Dorsetvillians have been bound together by the massive St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, slated
...more
Sue
A story of faith and of God's working in circumstances in ways we do not understand, to care for His people. The story, set in the Connecticut River Valley town of Dorsetville, opens on Ash Wednesday, upon which Father James Flaherty and his congregation learn that the archdiocese has determined to close their beloved St. Cecelia's Church. The town has fallen on hard times since the woolen mills shut down, church membership has declined as younger families have moved out of town in search of wor ...more
Joy
I listened to the audio version of this book.

The good: charming small town setting, mix of believable and eccentric characters, sincerity of the faith that is depicted, reference to the Mitford series (a personal favorite of mine), light easy read.

The not so good: too many characters introduced so quickly that you don't know which are major and which are minor; didn't get to know Father James as well as I would have liked; flashbacks are hard to follow--what is happening now vs many years ago? L
...more
Joan
The story of a Catholic church in a small New England town that is dying from age and lack of funds, but is alive in faith and good works. Similar in theme to Jan Karon's Mitford books, if you like them you will probably enjoy this book too. I didn't feel that the characters in this book came to life quite as much as the people in the Mitford series, but I definitely did enjoy it, and will look for other books about St Cecelia's.
Sue
A gentle kind of novel with a lot of people, most of whom attend a Catholic Church. All of them have their problems... and the church itself is in danger of closing down. Meanwhile, a somewhat nerdy teenager who has been suspended from school for hacking, comes up with a rather unusual idea that gets somewhat out of hand, and an elderly priest goes missing in a snowstorm.

It makes pleasant reading, somewhat in the style of Jan Karon, although there was no main character and I found it very hard t
...more
Arlene
I came across this book at the used book sale room in our local library. I have to admit that I was drawn in by the cover of the book. Priced at one dollar, I knew I had to take it home. I loved this book. As many have stated, if you like the Mitford books you will love the people of St Cecelia's. I passed this book on to my friends and they enjoyed it as well. After reading this novel, I purchased the rest of the books in the series and they all reside on my bookshelf just ready for me to pull ...more
Roxanne
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first in the Dorsetville series. It’s kind of a Catholic version of the Mitford books. Valentine has created lovable characters, people we’ve all known in our own lives. References to differences between religious denominations are presented with humor – I laughed out loud quite a few times. All important, the Christian message comes through loud and clear as Father James meets challenge after challenge in his parish. I will read the next in the series.
Judith
This is a Catholic version of the Mitford series. The similarities are many, including a quote in book two by the sheriff, "Dorsetville takes care of its own." The author writes much more openly about the supernatural than Jan Karon does. If you can get past the rosaries, Hail Marys, and genuflecting, you'll enjoy being transported to a quaint New England village. Definitely a "gentle read."
Sue Flanagan
Loved this book because of the faith of the different characters. Loved the way that the disciples' faith was conveyed - "No matter how those fisherman suffered, not one of them ever renounced their testimony. And thru 2000 years- many reliable witnesses testify to the transforming power inherent in Christ!"
Stacy
Read the Jan Karon books, and this series was recommended to me at our local Catholic store, since I enjoyed those. I found this to be as enjoyable as the Karon books. This is a wonderful series, with a charming town and inhabitants. Great to find something like this with the Catholic background.
Julie
I like books about quirky people in small towns (Mitford series, First Ladies Detective series, Harmony series etc.) and this is definitely in that vein. However, I just thought it was OK - not terribly interesting. I don't think I will go any further into this series.
Lara
I really enjoyed this uplifting, faith filled book. It is filled with lovely characters and seemed to me to be a realistic portrait of a close community. I cried with sadness and with joy throughout the book. It's message of hope and faith came at a perfect time for me.
Jennifer
I was happy to find an inspirational fiction book centered around Catholicism because they are hard to find. It was a quick read, full of dialogue. It was a heartwarming story with kind and thoughtful characters. Lighter, gentle reading that wasn't overly preachy.
Karen
I first read this series about 5 years ago and loved them all. This one was just as good the second time around. Some have called them a "Catholic Mitford" series. I haven't read the Mitford books but the characters in this series are very endearing.
Sherry Edwards
It was a little too religious for me, but I finished. I probably won't read another one by her. I liked the characters and the story was pretty good. At least it kept me reading so I could see how it would turn-out. Everything was a little too perfect.
Lisa
This book about the people in Dorsetville trying to save their church from closing had appealing characters. Nevertheless, I found the book altogether too preachy. This book was supposed to be a novel but it read like a religious tract.
Nancy
St. Cecilia's has been in Dorsetville forever, but with a dwindling population and no money for upkeep, it's time for the church to close. Catholic-based, lots of prayers, but a warm story of the people who make up the community.
Carol
Similar to the series set in Mitford with a friendly little pastor, this book speaks to the Catholic. I love how it is just a good story in a Catholic setting. A good read and I am looking for the next book already.
Sandra Kent
What a fabulous book this was to read. It was a bit tough at the beginning but as you met the characters and got to know them, the story began to flow. This book will go to my list of favorite stories!!
Martha
Delightful story set in the fictional New England town of Dorsetteville. I enjoyed reading all five
books in the Dorsetteville series. The author, Katherine Valentine, has an interesting website.
Bebe
Jan 13, 2009 Bebe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Really enjoyed reading this book ~ it was uplifting and hopeful. The writing was friendly, the characters were believable, and the storyline was great. Would recommend to anyone!
Juliana Marie
This book was amazing! I loved Katherine Valentine's close knit community and have officially decided that I am inserting myself into this book and living there for the rest of my life.
Joanne Stein
I loved this book, to the point that I stayed up way too late to finish reading it. Really cared about the characters and the church and was thrilled with the way things unfolded.
Rose
My favorite part of the books in this series is the Catholic faith of the characters. The stories have Catholicism woven throughout, in an everyday sort of way.
Deborah
Great for summer reading. It is a light and enjoyable read. It is very uplifting. The story about how the author came to write this book is interesting.
Kathrine
Very much like the Jan Karon's Mitford books. If you like those, you will like these. Especially enjoyable if you live in CT!
Melissa
Not a Christian book by genre, but full of faith. A church is about to be closed and miracles happen to keep it open.
Pam
A series I found by chance on the library shelves and have really enjoyed. The audio edition isn't listed here.
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