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Out to Canaan (Mitford Years #4)

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,412 Ratings  ·  316 Reviews
Now, Father Tim and Cynthia are pondering their retirement plans while trying to raise the difficult Dooley Barlowe. The mayoral race is heating up, the bakery may be closing, and Mitford's finest house may become . . . a spa. Can change be coming to the little town with the big heart?
Audio, Abridged, 2 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Penguin Audio (first published 1997)
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Sally I totally agree that "Thy will be done" is the best 4 word prayer that you can say! It shows that you trust God, and don't just use Him to ask for…moreI totally agree that "Thy will be done" is the best 4 word prayer that you can say! It shows that you trust God, and don't just use Him to ask for what you want. I do think it is okay to petition God for yours and others wants, needs, desires, but closing off with Your will, not mine, demonstrates your faith that He knows best! Blogger Renee Meyer had some good comments on this:
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Winter Sophia Rose
Heartwarming, Encouraging & Refreshing! An Uplifting Read! I Loved It!
Dec 31, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 4th book in this beloved series. The fact that I have now read four books in the saga of Mitford and Father Tim Kavanagh is testament to the fact that I love these books. Father Tim is one of my all time favorite characters in literature. This loving servant of God tries so hard to be the good shepherd of his charming, lovable, sometimes exasperating "sheep". In this episode Father Tim is rapidly approaching retirement and he struggles to tie up some rather frustrating loose ends before he l ...more
Christian Singer
Jun 19, 2013 Christian Singer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Jan Karon's wit. Her characters are so real I feel like I know them, like I live in Mitford. The affable, bumbling goofball Father Tim delights me. "He wanted to say something to her, something to let her know that having her beside him meant the world to him, meant everything. 'I'm going to buy us a new frying pan today.' he said. . . . He hadn't meant to say that. He hadn't meant to say that at all!" (page 51) He ruined a romantic moment with unintended humor, just one example of his bu ...more
I'm going to write the same thing for the entire series. It's a syrupy sweet old fashioned read which does not demand anything of the reader. Many find the series feel good, and there are some sparkles of true conflict here and there, but mostly it's about the mundane daily plight of a vicar who finds love later in life and saves people - emotionally and physically.

If you like the first in the series, keep reading because you will be comforted by the characters and will want to see who is added
May 02, 2015 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Public library copy. Mitford series #4. So far I have loved every book in the series.

Out to Canaan covers the final year before Father Tim's retirement. The story is full of twists and turns. The man is busier helping people than ten people! And if it can happen, it happens to him :) Difficulties and roadblocks, the stuff of real life.

What can I say? The writing is superb, the characters are indelibly etched in the reader's mind, and there is never a dull moment in Mitford. I highly recommend t
This book wouldn't mean much to someone who hasn't read the earlier ones, but it's quite good otherwise. Two big story lines are included - Esther's competition for mayor and the selling of Fernbank. I'll admit that part always feels a little too "innocent" for me. Who would try to sell a property like that without getting an impartial appraisal? I grew up in a very small town and church, still we had attorneys and people who were smart about business. These folks come across like kindergartners ...more
Mar 06, 2009 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joy Gerbode
Jan 25, 2015 Joy Gerbode rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this series of books, and this one really had me wanting to know the outcome ... even though I've read them before, it was over 10 years ago, so I've forgotten. This one dealt with facing life changes, and was very encouraging to me, as that's where I am in life as well.
Connie Himmelberger
This is a "feel good" book. Enjoyed listening to it at the end of my day ride homw.
Jan 27, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Her characters are so believable, so real.
Angela S. Blair
Feb 27, 2015 Angela S. Blair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book as much as the rest of the Mitford series, so far...and yet, I found myself suffering with the same curse of plot drag as in the first book. I saw what you did there, Ms. Karon. You wanted the reader to feel the same dragged out sense of prolongued separation that Father Tim and Cynthia (and the rest of Mitford) feel when they prepare for the departure to their new congregation.

I have to say, this book shows Jan Karon to be a masterful story teller. As a reader, you are immer
May 08, 2015 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read several of the books in this series years ago and was in the mood for a light pleasant read again, so I just chose Out to Canaan, not sure if I was reading them in the proper order. I truly enjoy this Mitford series, feeling like the characters should all be in their own show, much like the Andy Griffith Show! I will admit that I probably lost a bit of the story reading them out of order, but still enjoyed it very much. Jan Karon has a way of making her characters quite believable and ...more
Jun 28, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
05.2011 Number four, continuing on. I just can't say how much I love these books. Simplicity. Love. Heartache. Stress. Worry. Blessings of God in the midst of everything. If you haven't read this series, you should!

06.2013 Loved it all over again. Now I have to get my hands on the next one.... ;)
Nov 13, 2012 Tawny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious, novel
What a wholesome series! Favorite lines:
1. "He who is not impatient is not in love" (29).
2. "Perhaps almost anyone could love . . . it was the loving back that seemed to count for everything" (32).
Sep 05, 2014 Arava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tiny town is getting into my bones.

Except for a frequent slang expression or two that I don't prefer and the (very) occasional profanity, I would give this a five-star rating. Some people criticize Jan Karon for over-sentimentalizing her tales, but I've found them full of human pain, the struggles each of us have to deal with--and even death, which for a Christian is a victory in itself. Yes, there are often happy endings in Mitford, but those come only by the grace of God

What I most love a
Dec 10, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I jumped into the middle of The Mitford Years series because the first book wasn't available at the library. I thought it was a little slow going at first, but I got to love the characters as they made daily life choices against the backdrop of a cosy small town. There's the cleric and his wise wife, their adopted son and his redeemed alcoholic mother, and the nonstop talking hair stylist amongst many others. Feel good, real life, God in the midst of daily struggles kind of book. I will be readi ...more
May 23, 2016 Misti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book Fr. Tim announces his impending retirement, the whole town is up in arms over a hotly contested mayoral race, and the vestry of Lord's Chapel must decide what to do with a grand but decaying old home left to the church as a legacy. This book has the feeling of an ending, though there are still several books to go in the series. After this book, the series moves in slightly different directions, although it keeps the same gentle tone. As with the other books, I'd recommend this to re ...more
Lucy Megronigle
Aug 13, 2015 Lucy Megronigle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I turn to the Mitford series every so often, especially after reading some convoluted murder mystery or political/spy thriller. Going back to Mitford is like going home to visit an old friend. I have enjoyed getting to know all the different residents of the town and especially enjoy the relationship between the rector and his new wife. Hopefully, there are still some small towns like this still around where everyone knows everybody else and their business. Can't wait to see what retirement bri ...more
Carol C
After being reminded by a friend that this series is delightfully like "curling up with a cup of tea," I realized that the whole series is missing from my Goodreads list. It's been quite a while since I've read this book, so I'm just guessing on the date. I won't rate it, because the details are fuzzy, but I loved this series. Don't pick it up if you're looking for something exceptionally deep or literary. It's just a warm-hearted and good series with characters striving to learn and do what it ...more
Tanya D
Book jacket synopsis: * Father Tim, the Episcopal rector, and his talented and vivacious wife, Cynthia, are pondering the murky uncertainties of retirement. They're also trying to locate the4 scattered siblings of Dooley Barlowe, the mountain boy they love as their own. A brash new mayoral candidate is calling for aggressive development, and a tough survivor must hunker down for the fight of her life. Worse, the Sweet Stuff Bakery may be closing, and a suspicious real estate agent is trying to t ...more
Patti Victorson
Jul 23, 2015 Patti Victorson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, like the others in the series, portrays a man whose faith is part of his everyday life - I like that. It is not preachy but a life of serving. Like the other books: the love of a small community, real people's problems cared for and lives changed are depicted, I am getting used to Jan Karon's style of writing. Even though her writing doesn't flow really well, the content is superb. What was different about this book, Out of Canaan, was that it had some mystery and intrigue written in.
Sep 09, 2009 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm definitely running out of Mitford steam. This one had a villain in the form of an overbearing woman who never put in an actual appearance . . . pulling strings from behind the scenes, thwarted by Good People and God at every turn. With all the praying going on, I have to wonder why Father Tim never prayed for her? Too far gone? Satan's agent on earth? (Edith Mallory is her name - an aggressive woman who had designs on Fr Tim himself in an earlier book, the minx! Now she's just after Mitford ...more
Wayne S.
Dec 06, 2013 Wayne S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this fourth novel of “The Mitford Years” series about the little town in the mountains of North Carolina with the big heart, whose endearing and eccentric residents have become like family members to thousands of readers, Timothy Cavanaugh, the Episcopalian minister of Lord’s Chapel, and his wife Cynthia are pondering retirement. In fact, Timothy’s bishop and seminary friend Stuart Cullen comes to speak at Lord’s Chapel and make the official announcement of the minister’s upcoming retirement, ...more
Joyce Lagow
Jun 06, 2011 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition

The word is out--Father Tim is going to retire in 18 months. Bishop Stuart Cullen has made it official in a sermon in which he likened Father Tim’s retirement as an adventure equivalent to Abraham’s venture into Canaan. Suffused with goodwill from the sermon, at first the villagers congratulate Father Tim and wish him well. However, when reality sets in--there will be (unwelcome) change--the complaints start. No one wants to break in a new priest.

But over riding all other concerns is the upcomin
Here’s what I like about this book. I love the relationship between Cynthia and Timothy, it is what a marriage should be. I love what they have done for Dooley. He is a great character. I enjoy the heart warming stories about the people in Midford. It is a quaint little town. One I would love to visit.

Here is what I don’t like: If you have not read the series in order, forget it. You will be lost. This author does a poor job reminding the reader of the history of this series. I always feel like
Jan 22, 2014 KathyJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand why readers get hooked on series. It's easy to become attached to the characters, and to feel as though they're your next-door neighbors, and it becomes difficult to just move away from them. So, Father Tim, his wife Cynthia and the odd assemblage of town characters continue to amuse. At times, the religious overtones feel a bit too emphasized for my taste ... but then, it is a series in which the central character is an Episcopal priest. At times a bit contrived, but still entertai ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoy this series. I like how in the past several books, I have escaped into this wonderful little town, and have become my own character in the book. The characters have come to life for me. I find myself wishing the best for them, rooting them on during turbulent moments, wishing and praying that there were more people like Tim Kavanaugh, who only sees the good in people (even in his nemesis..on occasion).
Margie Swanson
Apr 18, 2016 Margie Swanson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Father Tim and wife Cynthia decide to announce their plans to soon retire. People are not ready to not have Father Tim in Mitford! He doesn't like the many moves in real-estate that are happening...who is behind these unusual moves. The mayor has a campaign of her life to try and save her job from dishonest hands. Dooley's mother and two children are now living in Mitford and part of Father Tim's growing family.
May 18, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: Lori Nettnin
It's been a while since I picked up a book from the Mitford Series. They're hard to come by overseas. The story continues with Father Tim & Cynthia Kavanaugh and their friends and family in Mitford. It was easy to pick up and read, even after putting the series to rest for a while. Jan Karon does a good job at helping you remember where you left off.

In this book, I got to take a trip to Lakeland, FL with Father Tim. Funny to me since I just moved to Tokyo from Lakeland, FL. I also got to rea
Book four of this series (which is really book 5 if you read them chronologically) has Father Tim declaring his retirement and the backlash responses he receives after that announcement. We also find him dealing with the Fernbank property (which holds a little bit of a mystery), along with other properties being approached for sale around Mitford. Father Tim handles everything in his usually thoughtful, earnest style, and with the help of Cynthia, Dooley, Harley and all the other denizens of Mit ...more
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Born Janice Meredith Wilson in 1937, Jan Karon was raised on a farm near Lenoir, North Carolina. Karon knew at a very early age that she wanted to be a writer. She penned her first novel when she was 10 years old, the same year she won a short-story contest organized by the local high school. Karon married as a teenager and had a daughter, Candace.

At 18, Karon began working as a receptionist for
More about Jan Karon...

Other Books in the Series

Mitford Years (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years, #1)
  • A Light in the Window (Mitford Years, #2)
  • These High, Green Hills (Mitford Years #3)
  • A New Song (Mitford Years, #5)
  • A Common Life: The Wedding Story (Mitford Years, #6)
  • In This Mountain (Mitford Years, #7)
  • Shepherds Abiding (Mitford Years, #8)
  • Light from Heaven (Mitford Years, #9)
  • Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Mitford Years, #10)
  • Come Rain or Come Shine (Mitford Years, #11)

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“The standing fields [ready to harvest]were the legions who hadn't filled their God-vacuum with the One who was born to fill it; the standing fields were those who waited for someone to reach out and speak the truth, and tell them how they might be saved.” 5 likes
“Paul said in the second epistle...the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine...they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn from the truth and wander away to myths.” 5 likes
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