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Shepherds Abiding (Mitford Years #8)

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  10,563 Ratings  ·  431 Reviews
The eighth novel in the beloved Mitford series, by the bestselling author of At Home in Mitford and Somebody Safe with Somebody Good 

Millions of Americans have found Mitford to be a favorite home-away-from-home, and countless readers have long wondered what Christmas in Mitford would be like. The eighth Mitford novel provides a glimpse, offering a meditation on the best of
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2003)
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Ann Marie
Dec 21, 2010 Ann Marie rated it it was amazing
I read Jan Karon's Shepherds Abiding every year at Christmas time and every year I find another heart warming message I hadn't found before. This years message was 'The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.' It wasn't even close to any usual Christmas message I've treasured over the years. But the part about keeping an untroubled spirit encouraged such a feeling of free-spiritness in me. This book is about how an ret ...more
Judy King
Dec 21, 2011 Judy King rated it it was amazing
Who knew that books could be just like comfort food? I've not read the Mitford books, stumbled onto this one (#8) because I'm on a Christmas-book reading binge this month.

I listened to this one and it was like having mac and cheese made by mom, or vanilla wafer/banana pudding or homemade egg custard with nutmeg browned on top. SIGH...I feel like I've gone home -- At various times during the story I felt as if I was in my childhood home town. Then there were parts that reminded me of the town wh
Jenni Simmons
Dec 21, 2007 Jenni Simmons rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Like comfort food, this is a comfort book. I unabashedly love Jan Karon's novels.
Dec 22, 2011 Lorraine rated it really liked it

“Shepherd’s Abiding” is a warm and fuzzy book that is part of the Mitford Years Series. I read about three or four of the series and always felt refreshed after reading them. Places like Mitford are where we all want to be at times—away from the maddening crowd.
In this novel Father Tim and his wife Cynthia are preparing for Christmas. It begins in October when everyone is waiting for the maples to turn their brilliant colors. He finds an old plaster nativity set in the antique store and is someh
Joy Gerbode
Feb 05, 2015 Joy Gerbode rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is wonderful ... of course, I collect nativity sets, so Father Tim refurbishing a nativity is right up my alley. I love these wonderful stories. They are so inspirational, and while they inspire a closer relationship with God, they especially inspire closer relationships with people, love and forgiveness, and acceptance of people who are "different" ... whatever that may mean. Wonderful books, and so very easy to relate to.
In vain I have struggled! It will not do. I simply cannot stomach Mitford! As a faithful Episcopalian, I have given it my best, but I think I must be too cynical for all the saccharine. There. Now it's out there. (I also don't like Dr. Seuss and I've never seen Star Wars. I feel clean now having confessed.)
Lizabeth Tucker
Feb 22, 2013 Lizabeth Tucker rated it really liked it
Part of the wonderful Mitford series, this one is concerning Christmas and how everyone is dealing with the approaching holidays. Father Tim is shown a well-worn nativity set from the 19th Century that is badly in need of repair and repainting. Encouraged by his antique store friends, he dives in, hoping to complete it as a gift for his beloved wife. Things are changing in Mitford as they do all over. The Grill is closing, the husband and wife owners finally retiring. That leaves the townspeople ...more
Jun 04, 2010 Ruth marked it as to-read
304 pages.

Since he was a boy growing up in Mississippi, Father Tim has lived what he calls "the life of the mind." Except for cooking and gardening and washing his dog, he never learned to savor the work of his hands. And then he finds a derelict nativity scene-twenty figures, including a flock of sheep, that have suffered the indignities of time and neglect.

Could he give the small company new life? Restore the camel's ear, repaint every piece, replace a missing nose on a wise man? "You can't te
Aug 07, 2016 Joyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Public library copy. This book is #8 in the Mitford Years series, starring Father Tim.

This was a bit of a quick read, not as much of a plot, more about the characters and the season. That being said, it is a great read, just not as complicated as some of the books in the series.

I am partial to nativity sets. I had one taken away from me years ago, and I am more partial to them than ever. I just love the whole idea of Father Tim's gift to his wife Cynthia, and the relationships developed and gro
Apr 11, 2010 Kelly rated it it was ok
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
Kathy Worrell  ツ
It's funny that at first glance, I didn't really find this book appealing! I had a bunch of Christmas novels and kept putting it aside, almost not reading it at all. What a shame that would have been. I wasn't a Jan Karon fan, even. I must have picked this book up somewhere along the way this past year.

Anyway it's the 8th book in a series. The novel takes place in a town called Mitford. It's a comfortable tale about the people in Mitford and what happens to each of them prior to Christmas.

I wo
December 2016 reread of Hope's Happy Endings bookstore story segments for the pure enjoyment of it!

December 2014 reading : Multi layered stories of Mitford residents leading up to Christmas. Stories are told randomly from varied residents' experiences.

The retired priest's new found creativity in preparing an extraordinary gift for his wife and the bookstore employee's Christmas were two that impacted me especially.
Jan 04, 2011 Marci rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2012 Melinda rated it really liked it
I loved how this book focused solely on one Mitford Christmas. I can see myself rereading it during the holiday season because it is such a delightful read and contains such a warm spirit. It was interesting to discover how the magic of Christmas seemed to touch so many of the residents of Mitford, resulting in glowing, radiant sentiment. A most worthy read!
Stephanie Blake
Apr 24, 2013 Stephanie Blake rated it really liked it
I have read nearly everything Jan Karon has written. Reading any book in her Mitford series is a great way to relax. This was no exception. I enjoyed it just like I enjoyed the rest of her books. She has a true gift for making you want to be part of the family in Mitford!
Kristin Shields
It's been a long time since I read a Mitford book and I know I used to like them a lot. This one is preacher than I remembered and choppily written so that it's sometimes hard to figure out who's talking. Probably my last Mitford.
Dec 10, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very spiritual read that I would have probably liked better if I knew the characters better.
Sep 04, 2014 Missy rated it liked it
Sweet but slight.
Jan 21, 2015 Brent rated it it was amazing
Everything you want in a visit to Christmas!
Winter Sophia Rose
Dec 14, 2015 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Encouraging, Heartwarming & Captivating! Another Beautiful Read! I Loved It!
Sep 21, 2010 Abby rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful Mitford book!
Mar 11, 2017 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book
audio book....I didn't even finish it. jumps around alot a little hard to follow. Just not my sort of book
Tamara Hill
Feb 28, 2017 Tamara Hill rated it really liked it
As with the rest of the Mitford series, my mother was right. A simple, enjoyable story involving quirky, small-town characters preparing for Christmas. I especially enjoyed imaging Father Tim restoring the beautiful, neglected Nativity scene to surprise his wife. The culmination of the story reminded me a little bit of the sweet gift-giving tale in O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.

More at my blog:
Lori Sweet
Feb 26, 2017 Lori Sweet rated it it was amazing
I read this book every year in the fall/winter. Such a beautiful story of redemption.
Feb 18, 2017 Michele rated it really liked it
My favorite book so far in this series about life in a small town -- Mitford. It is the Christmas season and everyone is in a cheery mood. Surprise Christmas gifts, friendship and love. A wonderful read.
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? In ...more
Mary Lou
Feb 16, 2017 Mary Lou rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Slow and boring, but comfortable.
Timothy Darling
Jan 03, 2014 Timothy Darling rated it really liked it
It's a pleasure to return to Mitford, it's been a few years since I read any of these books. With all the Science Fiction "the whole world is at stake" and Mystery "it's all life and death" reading I do, I enjoy getting into something in which the focus is more commonplace. A meaningful hand made gift, the goings on of family dynamics, normal working life decisions and transitions. These are not the things that disrupt our lives, but change them and mold them in important ways. Never mind that J ...more
Diane Moyle
Nov 04, 2014 Diane Moyle rated it liked it
This was the 8th in the Mitford Years series and is the first book I have read by Jan Karon. It was a very fast, enjoyable read. I do not usually read series but this was the November pick for our book club.

This follows the town’s residents through the Advent season as they prepare for Christmas. All are caught up in their own arrangements and hoping for some Christmas magic. Also on Christmas Eve, they are preparing to say good bye to the local diner and it’s owners that have been a huge part
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #162 - Shepherds Abiding: A Mitford Christmas Novel 1 1 Sep 16, 2015 11:19AM  
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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)
  • 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)
  • 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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