At Home in Mitford
by Jan Karon
You’ll want to start the Mitford Years series at the beginning with At Home in Mitford. This character-driven novel introduces you to the fictional, small, North Carolina town of Mitford inhabited by people you will want to know—flaws and all. Father Tim is a devoted and hard working bachelor rector whom everyone loves. He is caring and lives out his Christian faith in his interactions with others from Barnabas, the huge dog that adopts him, settling down only at the quotation of Scripture, to Dooley, a young boy who has had a hard life and needs stability and love.
If you are tired of the endless news cycle, reading At Home in Mitford will give you the break you need. It is a peaceful story spiked with humorous characters and situations, gentle romance, some mysterious happenings, and a little action. Although it has a definite Christian bent, this novel is never “preachy.” One of the themes of the book is found on the first page as Father Tim stops at his office door to pray: “Father, make me a blessing to someone today, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” Overall, you will enjoy the time you spend in Mitford and look forward to returning for another visit.
Category: Fiction, Christian
Notes: This is the first of 14 books, which may seem like a daunting number, but I encourage you to give it a try. Even if you don’t plan on reading the whole series, I think you will enjoy At Home in Mitford. I have read the series, some as a group when I discovered this author and many others as they were published over the years. I just reread this first novel with my book club, and I enjoyed it thoroughly all over again.
Publication: 1994—Penguin Books
“You don’t ramble at all, you get right to the point, and it’s always God’s point, as far as I can see. But, do you know what I appreciate more than your sermons?” “What’s that?” “The fact that you love us. Yes, that’s enough for me, that you love us.”
Good heavens, thought the rector. No wonder he had never felt the need to devour mystery and suspense stories. Nearly every day he encountered mysteries and suspense galore.
How could he have considered taking Monday off? Monday was the diving board poised over the rest of the week. One walked out on the board, reviewed the situation, planned one’s strategy, bounced a few times to get the feel of things, and then made a clean dive. Without Monday, one simply bombed into the water, belly first, and hoped for the best.