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At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years #1)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  45,089 Ratings  ·  2,676 Reviews
Enter the world of Mitford, and you won't want to leave.

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable.

Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a pat
Paperback, 413 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by RiverOak Publishing (first published 1994)
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Diane At Home in Mitford is the first in a series centering around the main character, Father Tim, who is an Episcopalian pastor in the small,…moreAt Home in Mitford is the first in a series centering around the main character, Father Tim, who is an Episcopalian pastor in the small, charming,mountain town of Mitford, NC. There are references to God & religion, but the focus is on his mishaps & adventures & the unique characters of the town. I've read most books in the series & found the plot & characters most enjoyable. I consider myself a religious person; it may not be for everyone.(less)
Kathy Langford
1) At Home in Mitford
2) A Light in the Window
3) These High, Green Hills
4) Out of Canaan
5) A New Song
6) A Common…more
1) At Home in Mitford
2) A Light in the Window
3) These High, Green Hills
4) Out of Canaan
5) A New Song
6) A Common Life
7) In this Mountain
8) Sheperds Abiding
9) Light from Heaven
10) Somewhere Save with Someone Good
11) Come Rain or Come Shine(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mike (the Paladin)
I've run into the attitude that "this is a woman's book". My question, what makes a book only a woman's book? I like it and while it's not one I keep on on my shelf for re-reading, I can recommend it as a wonderful idealized picture of life where the problems are there but don't destroy, where faith is understood as an actual part of life. It gives us a picture of love with work clothes on and I like this book and many of it's sequels (okay the wedding book was too much for me, maybe it is a wom ...more
Feb 11, 2008 Marianne rated it did not like it
I have to break up with this book. While the main character doesn't seem to have a "fatal flaw", the book does. It is too nice. Strolls in the warm sunshine, rosebushes, and hot cups of coffee... Others have called it a 'cozy read.' I just can't take it. To the author Jan Karon I say, "It's not you--it's me."
Oct 08, 2016 Madelyn rated it it was amazing
See the full review at Literary Cafe:

"My friend, if you keep your eyes on Christians, you will be disappointed every day of your life. Your hope is to keep your eyes on Christ"

The beauty of this series is how entertained you can be by a small town's antics. They never cease to make me smile. From the quirky little boy to the smart-mouthed secretary to the dog who makes his way into your heart, this book is packed to the rim with excitement - in the exact
Jan 14, 2009 Katie rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Tatie frowed up.

Oh yes, Mitford is a lovely, sweet, Christian town, where they've kicked all the poor people out into the country so they don't have to look at them. When someone tells Father Tim that there is suffering in town that he can't imagine, Tim's response is "And I don't want to know." And after 12 years of so-called ministry in this burg, he manages not to know about any problem that doesn't absolutely flatten him. A little boy comes to live with him--he's told that the mother is sick
Aug 16, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing
I never would have been drawn to these books had I not been desperate for a book to read and finding little in the way of selection in a hospital gift store... I was in a period of feeling quite low with yet another medical challenge to face with our son. If you are dealing with a "winter" season or you know someone who is--run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore and buy Karon's books. Authentic characters, heart warming stories and uplifting messages leaving you a better person for having read ...more
Jun 08, 2008 Raquel rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was SO delightful - it is nice to sit down with a book that you know will not offend. I am working on finishing up the series - I highly recommend this book.

pg. 141 Psalm 68: "Blessed by the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits."

pg.152 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do ith with all your might!" he quoted cheerfully from Ecclesiastes.

pg. 165 "Do you like the fall of the year?"
The man gave an odd laugh. "Why?"
"One of the things that makes a dead leaf fall to the ground
Aug 06, 2007 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: utter-dreck
Thomas Kinkade comes to mind. I need hardly add that this is not a good thing.
Jul 16, 2008 Melissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: five-star-plan
This was my first attempt to read a 5 star book from each friend's book list so I hate to give this one star, but it just wasn't my thing. I read about 150 pages, jumped to the very end and put it down. The author jumps from quaint small southern town situation to quaint small southern town situation without delving into the characters. You know what I think my problem is? No one in Mitford has a dark side. Not one person in the whole darn town.
Oct 02, 2016 Jonetta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This just wasn't for me. Many love this book and the series so I'm sure it's just a matter of reader/story compatibility. It's just too saccharine for my reading sensibilities.
May 25, 2011 Lynai rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters in Mitford are mostly lovable, even Homeless Hobbes, and the love stories are a delight to read. One thing I have observed is that except maybe for Dooley, the 11-year old boy left under the care of Father Tim, all the other characters are adults, most are elderly. But one just has to laugh at their childlike personalities. I am reminded of the Anne of Green Gables series while reading this book. I don’t know why. Maybe it is because the characters are easy to fall in love with an ...more
Oct 30, 2007 Jamie rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I spent whole afternoons reading a book, but At Home in Mitford hooked me so fast that I spent a very happy weekend living there myself. The characters are real, honest, and flawed in the most endearing ways, and I spent most of the book pulling for all of them. I especially loved the main character, Father Tim (and who'd have thought I'd enjoy reading about an Episcopalian preacher?), who has the biggest, most open heart--at least until his neighbor starts to steal i ...more
May 29, 2011 Werner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of clean contemporary general fiction with a small-town setting
Shelves: general-fiction
When I first began reading this series-opener, it took me awhile to warm up to it. That's because the human drama of the various plot lines is slow to develop, and because I didn't immediately get close enough to any of the characters to actually get inside their heads and understand or relate strongly to them. (The third-person narration isn't the cause of this. Arguably, that's much the way things are in real life; most of the time, it takes awhile to get to know a new community and new people ...more
Carol Waters
Mar 20, 2015 Carol Waters rated it did not like it
Let's be kind. The sort of people who read books like this like books like this. Not my genre.

Which is no excuse for bad writing. Among other things, the author describes an African-American woman at an apparently all-white church as "like raisins added to bread" which left me agape. And the main character is a 60-year old virgin minister who is thinking for a hundred pages about perhaps going steady. And was is with the livermush? Let me google that. BRB.

OK, so that is one of the 50 fattiest fo
Natalie S.
Feb 26, 2011 Natalie S. rated it really liked it
A pleasant read about the sorts of people I think we all know - decent folks from various backgrounds trying to live good Christian lives. Despite the idealistic pastoral setting, this isn't mere verbiage to accompany a Kincade painting. The problems are just the sort of things you find when you look under the surface - broken homes, distant fathers, divorce, illness, echos of old grudges, and difficult marriages. You walk down mainstreet smelling the roses and chuckling slightly that people wou ...more
Jim Ainsworth
Jul 09, 2013 Jim Ainsworth rated it it was amazing
I was not familiar with Jan Karon’s Mitford series of novels until recently. I had just finished reading a very dark and difficult book when I saw an article on Karon. Her work sounded refreshing. And it was. Mitford is a fictional small town in North Carolina on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains (another thing that drew me to the book). I like small towns and I love the Blue Ridge Mountains and all parts of Appalachia. Although Karon spent most of her life in urban areas, she was born in Blo ...more
May 28, 2008 Trisha rated it did not like it
Recommended to Trisha by: book club
I finally finished! It just seems wrong to say that you don't like a Christian book. There's an implication that I feel obligated to dispel. When I began reading this story I thought I liked the simplicity of the characters, their Christian morals and the charm of the small town they lived in. I patiently waited for more depth and purpose and perhaps more twists and turns. There were some turns, but predictable. I prefer stories that I can sink my teeth into with more complex r ...more
3 stars - It was good.

Lots of cornbread, church, and small town southern charm in this one. It reads like a family friendly TV series with a warm feel and uplifting messages. I think it will appeal to fans of Debbie Macomber, as it is a similar style of writing but with more prayer and less scandal.

Father Tim and the quirky town inhabitants eventually grew on me and I loved that the author included quotes and passages from numerous authors. On the other hand, it was rather predictable, a tad to
Happy contented sigh. A feel good book that makes you love life. I must read more of her books.
Jul 09, 2009 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandi by: Pastor Mike
Shelves: 2009
At Home in Mitford is a charming book about a charming Episcopalian priest, his charming congregation, and his charming home of Mitford, SC. (It might be NC because the state is only mentioned once.) I've been reading a lot of books that are filled with profanity, sex, and violence that come across as very realistic. That's the way America is in the early 21st century, isn't it? Everybody is so fully of anxiety and anger, so our literature reflects that. But is that any more realistic than the u ...more
May 18, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Men, women, teenagers, anyone really
Recommended to Jen by: Lori Nettnin
My mom has wanted me to read this book for ages. She was in the hospital right before my wedding and I remember flying home to Florida to see her. This book was on her side table and I read parts of it to her. I remember enjoying it and she told me I should pick it up and read it. Well, I got married right after that and then came two kids to live with us, so I never did get to read it. 'Til now. So far, so good. The author is very descriptive. I love how she has a map at the front of the book, ...more
Aug 20, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The interesting thing about this book and series is that it's so different from all of the other Christian fiction that I've read. Most of the books in that genre seem to be out to evangelize people and are always dragging down the plot with a bunch of "Christianity 101" and everyone's problems getting magically solved when they decide to believe in Christ. That's all fine and dandy if you're an unbeliever who accidentally happened to stumble into Mardel's, but what if you're already certain abo ...more
Amy Cane Dolzine
The book was absolutely, unequivocally boring. Sweet, boring dreck. It was misguided and full of unbelievable 1 dimensional characters. When it started with Father Tim "meandering" it never stopped. What makes me feel the worst about it is that I spent any time at all reading it. Depth, some reviewers say? Seriously? It was as deep as a communion cup. I need more of a spiritual, emotional and mental challenge. Yep, for Lent I'm going to study atonement and it's off to James Cone's "The Cross and ...more
May 03, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Jeannette
This book was kindly sent by my dear friend Jeannette, thank you so much!!

This is a perfect comfort book, describing the life and inhabitants in Mitford, South Carolina.

Page 191:
"Nothing is more wearying," Agatha Christie had said, "than going over things you have written and trying to arrange them in proper sequence or turn them the other way round."
Episcopalian Father Tim is still not sure, after 12 years of preaching to his small-town community, if he really is the right man for the job. He suffers from bouts of self-doubt and fatigue, but he keeps his complaints mainly to himself, and his friends and neighbors depend on him for his insight, support, and deep caring attention. It is easy to assume that small-town life offers only small-time problems, and that mostly life carries on without any major obstacles or crises of faith; Even Fath ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it

Mitford is a charming small town, slightly old fashioned and conservative where people look out for each other. Father Tim is the Episcopalian rector in charge of this small flock which seems to entirely consume his days. He's either visiting the hospital, checking on the elderly or the homeless man in the back woods or seeing to Church business. His is a practical Christianity that he bestows on others by deed and not merely by preaching. Of late, having just turned 60, he's been feeling a litt
Nov 18, 2008 Betty rated it liked it
This is the first in a series of books about Mitford and its residents, often written from the standpoint of Father Tim, Episcopal priest at Lord's Chapel in Mitford.

Mitford is a wonderful small town, and through Father Tim's eyes I got to know his neighbor Cynthia Coppersmith (an author/artist), Dooley Barlowe (an eleven-year-old who came to his house and ended up staying), Puny Bradshaw (the housekeeper who became almost a daughter), Father Tim's secretary Emma (who often tried his patience,
Oct 09, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
As a voracious reader, having read hundreds and hundreds of books over the past thirty plus years; I can honestly say the Mitford series is one of the best! Never has a fictional book touched my heart as these have. As I began reading the series, I found myself making changes in my life brought about by Ms. Karon's writings. Familial relationships, friendships, my faith, and my personal contentment have all been enriched by Father Tim, Barnabas, Dooley, and the residents of Mitford. In her writi ...more
Jun 16, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I decided to re-read this lovely series, and I forgot how darn funny they are!!! I love the LIFE that is in them...just simple, every-day, living out faith in the best way they know how amidst life's tosses and turns. I love that Fr. Tim learns to relax and learns to love. His way of being made confidant of so many people without trying makes me relate to him, and I love the Southern humor and way of living etched in these pages. The people of Mitford could be the people I knew when I li
Jun 01, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love Father Tim and the Mitford series. From the dog to the orange marmalade cake, I want to live in Mitford!
Sep 03, 2009 Rhonda rated it really liked it
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Really enjoying this book 3 25 Jan 29, 2015 05:27AM  
Too slow? 53 187 Sep 10, 2014 11:56PM  
E-book price - Am I cheap? 4 32 Jul 03, 2014 02:19PM  
recommendations for books for mom 9 43 Mar 01, 2014 05:18AM  
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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)
  • A Light in the Window (Mitford Years, #2)
  • These High, Green Hills (Mitford Years #3)
  • Out to Canaan (Mitford Years, #4)
  • 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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“Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.” 112 likes
“The firefly only shines when on the wing, So it is with us--when we stop, we darken.” 39 likes
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