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At Home in Mitford

(Mitford Years #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  58,116 ratings  ·  3,611 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 October 28th 1994)
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Dinah Kretschmer There are just enough references without making it preachy. A good wholesome story with just enough characters to keep things moving. Charming.
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 L…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

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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  58,116 ratings  ·  3,611 reviews

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Jan 14, 2009 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
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I retired, I wanted to repossess my lost innocence.

I thought I could, with books like this. I devoted much free time to them in those anguished and burnt-out years.

But then the “C” word raised its Medusa’s Snake Mane in my family a short three or four years ago. I had never anticipated a colossal power like it before that - but I needed a literary anchor - so once again chose Jan Karon as a vade mecum for a long journey of worry and pain.

Except, as I was to discover, it was one of those Da
Jul 09, 2016 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
Feb 03, 2008 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."
Aug 16, 2008 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
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been hearing about these books for years, but finally read one today...and really enjoyed it! Can't wait to read the sequels!
Apr 18, 2008 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
Sarah Grace Grzy
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 13+ for mild language and mature themes
This book is amazing! I absolutely love Jan Karon's writing style. Each of the characters feel so real and have so much depth, yet there is no "back story dump" Simplistic and to the point. So encouraging. This is a book I have read 4 or 5 times, and I keep coming back to it! Honestly the best piece of fiction I have ever read! I cannot sing its praises enough. The beautiful themes of grace, mercy and God's goodness are simply and engagingly put, and oh so inspiring!

I would recommend it for age
Jun 08, 2008 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
Sep 19, 2008 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
Feb 11, 2010 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
R.F. Gammon
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is not a book I can review in the normal fashion.

Goodreads is saying I've read it twice, this being my second time. That is a blatant falsehood.

My mother first gave this book to me when I was nine or ten. I was firmly convinced even at the time that if she remembered some of the thematic material it contained--especially in books 2 and 3--she would never, ever have given it to me. But she did, and I read it, and I loved it.

Especially since I found it at the time that I was beginning to co
Katie  Hanna
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
okay #conflicted

*deep breath*

I'm just gonna get this out of the way real quick:

This book doesn't have a plot.

And that's the biggest reason why I can't give it the four or five stars its deep and intimate character portraits would otherwise deserve.

Now, when I say there's no plot--understand, I'm not saying "it's boring" or "nothing happens." PLENTY of stuff happens, exciting stuff (jewel thieves and near death experiences and long buried family secrets among them), but they're not linked tog
Jan 24, 2008 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.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
So sweet and cozy. Reminded me a little of a Louise Penny book and her idyllic Three Pines but without the mystery and with a little more humor. So enjoyable!
Carol Waters
Sep 04, 2013 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
Years ago, I got this from the library and loved the colorful hometown of Mitford. I had to return it before I had time to finish it, though, This year I finally got my own copy and devoured it in less than 24 hours. Best of all, the author’s note in the front says there’s a real city where some of these stories really happened. I loved my first visit to Mitford and am eager to read the next book.

Content: moderately frequent profanity, including from the rector.
Sep 16, 2012 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.
Katherine Reay
Not my first reading, but it has been twenty years... It was LOVELY to revisit Mitford again. If you need a little vacation -- I highly recommend it.
Kate Willis
This book in one word: cozy. <3
My favorite part in two words? Father Tim.
And my least favorite part in three words: Dooley is crude.

But that’s no proper review at all. Let me try again. ;)

I spent several years of my childhood in a sweet, small town as the daughter of a pastor who loves C.S. Lewis, poetry, and quiet walks much like Father Tim. Reading this book felt like coming home. <3 Even the troubles of Mitford were charming! I enjoyed all of the side characters especially Emma, Uncle Billy,
Carol Bakker
I unapologetically love this book. What's funny is that I decidedly did NOT love it the first time I read it, years ago. That dog-responding-to-scripture trope was just too quirky.

But since Jan Karon announced that To Be Where You Are is her last word on Father Tim and Mitford, I decided to go back and reread the entire series s-l-o-w-l-y. I joined a fabulous Facebook Group that reads four chapters a week.

Knowing the full arc of the story, I revel in little clues given in this first book. I rej
Oct 14, 2007 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
Natalie S.
Feb 26, 2011 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
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is a book that you have to hug right after you finish it! It was wonderful and I enjoyed it so much.
I had no idea I would be reading a timeless, beautiful love story filled with wonderful characters.
This town is really something special! Is it perfect? No. Is it troubled? Sometimes. Is it complicated? Almost always. And it’s worth it!
“Don’t be afraid to show up”, I like to always say! 😊
And I could just go on and on but you’ll have to experience it yourself.

Things I loved:
My rating merely indicates my personal appreciation of this book. Lots of others love it. For me, the book was OK, and so I am giving it two stars.

It is about a parish priest, Father Tim, living in a small village of North Carolina. It takes place over a two year period in about the 1980s. Father Tim is kind. He cares about his parishioners. They love him in return. The issue that arises is that he takes on more problems than he can cope with.

I listened to this over a long car ride. One might s
Essie-Marie W.
DNF'd at 109 pages. My sincere apologies to the author and all who loved this book, but I just couldn't get interested. I found no reason to care about anyone or anything except Barnabas ('cause duh, he's a dog) and maybe Dooley (because he's the only mildly interesting/flawed character).
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sweet meandering book. An Episcopalian priest is unhappy. His mentor suggests he find a wife, so he gets a dog. Hey, makes sense to me. Dogs are excellent company.
A good story with eccentric characters and a strong plot, but it strolls along slowly.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This was a chance find at a Little Free Library, and as I wanted something light and cozy to read, the back of the book sounded like it fit the ticket. So I took it home with me and started reading.

This is definitely meant to be a cozy, Christian read. I went into this book expecting that, even though I am an atheist. I expected some quotation of Scripture, etc etc, and as the main character of this book is a pastor... well, no surprises there.

Others have complained about how sanitized the town
Jun 14, 2009 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
Aug 20, 2009 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
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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

Other books in the series

Mitford Years (1 - 10 of 14 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)
  • Home to Holly Springs (Mitford Years, #10)
  • In the Company of Others (Mitford Years, #11)

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