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Shepherds Abiding (Mitford Years #8)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  8,428 ratings  ·  317 reviews
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 all presents: the gift of one's heart. Since he was a boy, Father Tim has lived what he calls "the life of the mind" and has never r ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ann Marie
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
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
...more
Jenni Simmons
Like comfort food, this is a comfort book. I unabashedly love Jan Karon's novels.
Camie
A quick trip back (reread) to Mitford to celebrate the holidays with Father Tim, his wife Cynthia, and a supporting cast of loveable locals in this small southern town, always gets me in the holiday spirit. Read it by the fireplace this afternoon, while celebrating today's snowfall. Hurray !!! 5 stars
Lorraine

“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
...more
Lizabeth Tucker
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
Ruth
Jun 22, 2010 Ruth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Joy Gerbode
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.
Kelly
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
...more
Joy
I found this book a few years ago when I was looking for something Christmas-y to read. I did not realize this was part of a series until later, although I had no problem following the story or understanding the characters--with the exception of Dooley. I knew there was a backstory there that I wasn't getting.

This book was just what I needed to get in the holiday spirit. I love Father Tim's spirit of giving in so many ways. I fell in love with the characters and the little town of Mitford. I la
...more
ツ Kathy  Worrell
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
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Brent
Everything you want in a visit to Mitford.....at Christmas!
Susan
A very spiritual read that I would have probably liked better if I knew the characters better.
Missy
Sweet but slight.
Diane Moyle
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
...more
Melinda
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!
Marci
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Blake
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!
Timothy Darling
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
Eric
I don't feel right offering a review of this, because it's really not my type of book so I probably wouldn't have cared for it even it was the very best book of its kind. I picked it up for a few bucks at a used book sale several years ago and was in the mood for a Christmas book, so here we are.

The novel meanders a bit, kind of aimless, not a lot of conflict or much of anything else going on. Didn't get connected to any of the characters, but as part of a series I guess series readers already
...more
Abby
Another wonderful Mitford book!
Sue
This is the eighth book in Jan Karon's 'Mitford' series. It's shorter than the majority: less than 300 pages, and print well spaced out, so I read it in less than two days.

It's a bit of a novelty book rather than an important one in the Mitford story; Christmas is approaching, and the retired Episcopal priest Father Tim spots a rather scruffy set of plaster nativity figures in the antique shop. Hoping to surprise his wife, he enlists the help of a couple of friends and sets to work to repair and
...more
Angela
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
Cindy
12/10 - I decided, while reading this book, that Mitford novels are like milk chocolate. They do lack the sophistication and complexity of dark stuff - but they still make great comfort food.

I've been a long time enjoy-er of Karon's books, and this was like revisiting sweet memories. Like all the Mitford books, it's a gentle, simple story with a simple plot and lots of personal triumphs for the characters involved. The only thing I didn't like about this one was the passages told ENTIRELY in Unc
...more
Joleen
Jan Karon is a jewel among authors. I'm so glad a friend of mine introduced me to her writing. Her books are among my favorite books of all time. This one is no exception.
I love Father Tim and all the residents of this little town of Mitford.
Book after book bring delights to a reader.
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely!
And every one of the books within the Father Tim series.
Angela
Dec 09, 2007 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like sweet, whimsical fiction
I read the rest of the "Mitford" books a LONNNG time ago, before this one had been written, so it was great fun to dip into the Mitford world again in a new story. Just a sweet, wonderful book. I listened to it in my car as I was going about town so it took me a while to get through, but the reader was excellent, and it really helped me savor the book rather than just slam through it. My friend Paula reads it every year around Christmas, and she bought me a paperback version of it as an early Ch ...more
Emily
This is a very sweet book and I just happened to be ready to read it during the holidays! A wonderful Christmas story that encapsulates the true meaning of Christmas. This one doesn't further the plot of the characters in the series a whole lot, but there are some very nice developments in Mitford. Can't wait to read her next one in the series!
Vicki
This was a warm, fuzzy look at Christmas in a small town and how the people there interact and support one another. It was a book club selection for me. This is part of a series and the characters would be more developed is you started at the beginning of the series. I probably won't read more of the series.
writer...
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.
Veronica
I didn't even read the flap just picked this book (someone had given me) up and started reading. I was pretty confused in the beginning like I was missing something, but maybe not. Maybe it has something to do w/ the fact that it's the 8th book in the series. I LOVED this book. Now I must read all the other Mitford series books.
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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
More about Jan Karon...

Other Books in the Series

Mitford Years (10 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)
At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years, #1) A Light in the Window (Mitford Years, #2) A New Song (Mitford Years, #5) These High, Green Hills (Mitford Years #3) Out to Canaan (Mitford Years, #4)

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