The Mitford Series…

The Mitford Series of books by Jan Karon has been out for a while, but I know that some people still haven’t read any of them, so I thought I’d put in a good word.  This set of books centers around a fictional town called “Mitford,” Father Tim (the local Episcopalian priest) , and the town’s various characters.

This is a good little Christian fiction series that draws you into the life of the town.  Karon does an excellent job creating a fictional place that you actually “look forward” to visiting.  She sets up the storylines in such a way that you care about the characters; their lives, their struggles, their pets, what they are having for supper…

The first of the series, At Home in Mitford, sets the stage and the original players, with characters added throughout the stories.  I find that her style of writing is rather pleasant to read; it doesn’t bash the reader over the head with The Bible; no heavy preaching, no pressure, just good storytelling.  This is not to say that there is no theology present, or that the gospel isn’t present, because it is.  It is done in such a way that it is “organic” to the story, and it fits with the characters, it is not forced either on them, or on the reader.

I’m trying to recall if there is any theology presented that I disagree with, and I can’t really think of any…there is good interplay between the various Christian denominations in the town which is heartwarming, and amusing at the same time.

Here is a list of the books in this particular series in order: 1) At Home in Mitford, 2) A Light in the Window, 3) These High, Green Hills, 4) Out to Canaan, 5) A New Song, 6) A Common Life, 7) In This Mountain, 8 ) Sheperds Abiding, and 9) A Light from Heaven.  I would consider A Common Life and Shepherds Abiding as kind of “mini-novels;” they go along with the series but are not as long as her regular novels.  Shepherds Abiding, which I have not read yet, is also a collection of some shorter stories that still take place in Mitford with the same characters.

Karon also has companion books out that are connected to Mitford; like a quote book, a cook book, etc…  Other reasons why I like this series; they are relaxing reading, non-stressful, they are what I consider to be “quick” reads…and you can usually find most of the series at used book stores if you ask for them, or most libraries carry them, or can get them.

Karon has started another series; The Father Tim Series, to continue on with some of the characters that you’ll get to know in the Mitford series.  I do indeed recommend these books…I have also heard that even guys who read them like them, but they are, to me, geared toward the female reader.  I would also welcome any comments by any of my readers who have checked them out and would like to add their reviews here.

Edit to update: The Father Tim Series order so far: 1) Home to Holly Springs 2) In the Company of Others

Second Edit to update: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good is Jan’s next book in the series and is taking us back to Mitford! It’s set to be published on Sept. 2, 2014.

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83 Comments

Filed under Of Interest, Reviews

83 responses to “The Mitford Series…

  1. I’m enjoying them right now!
    I was googling the order of books and found your post! : )

  2. Michelle

    I have just finished the sixth book in the series and have absolutely loved reading them. I will be very sad when I’ve finished the final book. It is a heart warming, inspiring and quite amusing series. I have laughed out loud more times that I can recall.

  3. Marylee

    Loving this series. I feel like I’m taken back to my youth when we had a sense of community, knew everyone and had concern for each other.
    To think that someone could write such a beautiful series and not one curse word or sexual description. How nice!!!

  4. katieg

    Unfortunately Jan Karon or her publisher has used a different “reader” for her new Father Tim earlier series that she has just started.
    His name is Scott Sowers, and is just NOT Father Tim. Very sad for those who cannot read the book and rely on audio books for any enjoyment. I sure wish Jan Karon could go back to John McDonough who did all of the origional series. Great books though.

  5. Mickie Crowley

    As a guy who has just finished the first of the Mitford series I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I found the book easy to read, most of the characters are believable and likeable, the references to the Bible/theology are very appropriate and not “preachy,” and the references to various literary, historical, tonsorial, culinary and geographical elements make the stories much more interesting for me. Either Jan Karon is an extremely knowledgeable person or she has one whale of a research staff!
    I am excited to get to the next book. My only mild criticism is that the stories move a bit slowly, but once I got used to the pacing, it was not terribly objectionable. All in all, two thumbs up! (I am 66 years old, by the way, but who’s counting?!?)

    • Donna

      Are there any other books that you enjoy reading? I am trying to find mild literature for my convalescing husband.

    • Buzz Lynds

      And now four years later another 62 yr old guy is thoroughly captivated by Fr. Tim and Mitford, NC… not only do I find the read enjoyable I find the Fr. Tim challenges me in my own Christian walk…. and I’m a recovering Baptist! I can’t wait to visit the quaint little town again.

  6. Susanna

    Just wanted to clarify…Mitford is NOT a fictional town – it is a real town in NC.

  7. Muriel Irvin

    I just finished reading 9 issues of the Mitford Series. What a blessing! I am 70 years old and never heard of them until I was given the opportunity to go thru a couple boxes of books to be given away. All of the series was not there so I ordered the third one online and happened to mention to a friend how good it was. She said she had the entire series. I borrowed them and read them all, sometimes two a week. I hated to see the end. Now I need to find Home to Holly Springs. I’m hooked!

    • Carol Stachura

      Once I read the first one, I wanted to keep going. I read all nine books in the Mitford series as well as the two Fr. Tim books. I would love to see more. I read on another web site that another Fr.Tim book was due out this past fall, but nothing shows up on any of the search engines.

  8. Cher

    I love this series too. It is an easy read and so refreshing! I find myself thinking of ways to grow in my walk with Christ as I am reading it!

    • Mary

      As Father Tim said when listening for God’s answers to his queries, “Ditto.” I love the Mitford series and will love the Father Tim series too. I’m trying to do the same thing. I love this series and I intend to read it over and over again. I am reading this series for the third time now. I read it and a year or so later, read it again. The Mitford/Father Tim series is one of my all-time favorite series of books to read. I love everything about it. It’s nice to read these stories. They are unpredictable like life, but so like towns. I love the “realness” of these stories and the characters. I also love the way there are characters w/the same first name – much like real towns. There is Esther Cunningham and Esther Bolick. Most authors don’t do this. It contributes to the realness of the books. I learn something new every time I read the books. I can relate to the story as well as to events in my own life. It helps me to see things in a new light. Keep up the good work Jan Karon. I have read “Home To Holly Springs,” and I look forward to reading “In The Company of Others” as well.

  9. Patricia

    My question is about Mitford series book 6. It seem`s to be about what has already occured. I sort of skipped through it , am I missing lsomething by not reading it?

  10. These books make me happy! They are about people who find happiness in being connected to God and community and who seek the warm, loving relationships – warts and all – found in Ms. Karon’s Mitford series. I am not a fan of most of our modern literature with it’s despair, angst, obligitory sex scenes, bad language, and violence. They all seem to leave me depressed. But Jan Karon’s books bring my depression back up to the sunshine of the reality I know and want everyone else to know – that reality which has hard times and tragedy, but faces it with love (that is, with God) and finds loving, creative ways to deal with it in truth and whose people who grow through any troubles to find happiness in the ordinaryness of daily life lived in God and one’s home community. I love the “Home to Holly Springs book too and I think it fits with the rest of her books. I can hardly wait for the next one!

  11. Shirley

    I have just finished reading all the Mitford Series for the 2nd time, some maybe 3 times. I simply love these books. Father Tim reminds me of a dear friend who has gone on, but that is the way I think of him as I read.
    I have also enjoyed the two Father Tim series’ books. Is Ms. Karon going to write any more of those? Her writing is addictive to me!

  12. Tamara

    I found this site as I read most of the Mitford books years ago, am currently reading In the Company of Others and got to wondering if I had skipped or missed any of the books in between. I was looking for a site that would list all of them in order just to make sure as there aren’t any volume numbers in the titles. Cripes I don’t even know if all of Dooley’s siblings have been located and for Pete’s sake don’t tell me!! I forgot how much I love these books and do go get the cookbook if you don’t own it yet. Puny’s cornbread is to die for!

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  14. Juli

    While Mitford itself may be fictional, the town is definitely set in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. There is even a weekend full of festivities in honor of the series in June! Blowing Rock is one of the most unique and wonderful, yet quirkiest towns I’ve ever visited, much like Mitford.

    • Betty Avery

      I went to the festivities in Blowing Rock, NC two weeks ago. It was called Return to Mitford. I attended a lecture given by an actor who portrayed Father Tim (he was wonderful), a lecture given by Jan Karon herself, a trolly tour of “Mitford” and a luncheon with Jan. It was all so fantastic. During the lecture by Jan, she announced that she is planning to write another Mitford book. She will start it in October but I don’t know when it will be finished and published. She said it may be awhile. That is something that I look forward to. I had my picture made with Jan and I took along my book At Home In Mitford (her first) and she signed it for me. She was very approachable and sweet, taking time out for everyone who was there. My sister and I stayed at the same place Jan and her editor Carolyn Carlton stayed, which was the Chetola Lodge. A fantastic weekend!

  15. Jennifer

    my girlfriend recommended this series to me, (she thought it would be right up my alley, since i am romantically involved with a Lutheran pastor) but for whatever reason dragged my feet in getting it started – a recent trip to the library found me checking out the first in the series…..i just finished it, and i am SO completely hooked!! i can’t wait to go to the library today and check out the next book!!

    very very refreshing to read a wholesome book with good Christian values, no sex (gratuitous or otherwise), no bad language or unspeakable violence – just fantastic character study, beautiful scenery, and a sincere, Godly love story unfolding…..

  16. Denise

    I really wish that Jan Karon would write more on Mitford. I miss the characters so much and I WANT to read about Dooley and Lace getting married…And I did listen to all of the book on CD until The Father Tim series, I agree with those who said, John Mcdonough is the voice of Fr. Tim. Sorry, Scott, no offense, but I would love to hear this voice again. I think if it had been his voice I could have like the Fr. Tim series more…

    Denise

  17. C

    I just read the two books in the Father Tim series. I easily forget things from reading books so didn’t remember the whole story from the Mitford series so they seemed kind of confusing to me and I had a hard time keeping the characters straight in the second one with all new characters at the Inn and then a bunch of other characters in the journal. Did anyone else find this true? I know that I don’t like “series” book with 1-2 years in between titles being published because I can never remember what happened. Maybe I need to read them ALL again! I do like the books very much and now I miss Father Tim! Is that possible???

  18. Emily

    i know what you mean about missing Father Tim. I really miss him. Someone said there was going to be a made for tv movie about the Mitford years. Does anyone know about this happening?

  19. dianna

    I would like to know how Dooley gets along with all of his siblings. Kenny popped in on the last page. It would be nice to get to know him and his story.

    If Dooley and Lace get together it would open up a way to explore how God heals the emotional issues surrounding disfunctional upbringings. Two people who were neglected and mistreated trying to make a marriage work would be filled with challenging issues.

    Love the characters in the books except for the Ireland book. That one left me cold for some reason.

    • Emily

      does anyone know of any read alike books comparable to the Mitford series? Would like to start a new series but can’t let go of the characters and simple life these people have in the series.

    • Natalie Tull

      I had a harder time reading the Ireland book…but loved it just the same. It was SO different than the others, so I just had to get past that fact and just enjoy it. And I did.

    • Natalie Collins

      Same here, Dianna. I have read and reread the Mitford series ’til they’re all raggedy and almost falling apart (I won’t even venture to tell you how many times I’ve read them…they are like “comfort food” to me).
      But, I must say in the Father Tim series, I enjoyed “Home to Holly Springs” but absolutely had to MAKE myself read each page of the Ireland trip. I could not even tell it was written by Jan Karon!! What a shock and a disappointment. But I’m sure her third and last book in the Father Tim series will be wonderful!! I just know it!

  20. Jane

    I am a NC native and have been to Blowing Rock NC (the town on which Mitford is based) at least once a year as long as I’ve been on the earth. My husband and I even spent our honeymmon there 40 years ago. So I have the advantage and delight of picturing the places in Mitford based on knowledge and memories of the town of Blowing Rock. I think one reason that the Mitford and Father Tim series are so popular is that these books fill a need for those of us who love them. We gain insight and comfort and strength from Jan Karon’s writing where others might find the books boring and bucolic. I started reading the series in 2000 while recovering from a critical illness and they gave me hope. Afterwards, I got in line like all other Mitford fans and eagerly awaited the next book’s release. To me, the bottom line in each book of series is that wherever we are, God is already there and waiting for us.

    • Natalie Tull

      Well said, Jane. I totally agree. I did feel comforted while reading Jan Karon’s books…and always looked forward to the next one. I read them all back-to-back for the first time this past year after my sister gifted me with the first one.

  21. Rosita Lawson

    I just finished the Light From Heaven. I don’t know when I have enjoyed a series of Novels more. Jan Karon made me care about the characters and what was happening to them.
    I am excited to start the Father Tim series.

  22. Jane

    There was a Mitford Days celebration in Blowing Rock NC in June 2011. Jan Karon was there and participated in the Parade and a lecture/luncheon and other events. She hinted that she was starting another book in October 2011 that would include out Midford friends but did not elaborate on whether it was in the Mitford series or the Father Tim series or a whole new series. I read about it in the local newspapers and it was hinted that it would address the appearance of Kenny at the end of “Shepherds Abiding” and give an ending to the search for all the Barlowe kids or it would begin with Dooley and Lace married and running the vet’s office at Meadowgate or that it would even include Father Tim and Cynthia traveling to England for the offical visit to Mitford NC’s sister village there. To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s one of these storylines or not — just glad that Jan Karon is writing!

  23. I was given the Mitford series of books by one of my daughters and loved it
    from the first page on. I’ve read them all and can’t wait for the newest book
    about Father Tim to come out. Jan Karon is a very special person and makes the family come alive and you can imagine being right there in Mitford with them. Keep them coming Jan. Micky

  24. Mary

    I am at the end of “Light from Heaven” – thought there was a tenth book in the series (?). Would love to continue and read about Dooley & Lace, as well as, Kenny. So many budding characters – Sammy’s future and the new crowd from the Ridge! I guess we can only imagine, or “pray” for a tenth book! Yes, I am addicted, too!

  25. marilyn meyer

    I’m looking for the book or the idea of Jan Karon in the Mitford series when the pastor walked around the house like the walls of Jericho.

    do you remember?

    • Kliska

      Marilyn, I’m sorry, but I can’t remember that passage; it does sound familiar though, so I’m hoping another of my readers may see this and be able to help you out!

      • Nancy Eckel

        I don’t remember the name of the book but Father Tim ran around the walls of a man’s grounds while he was filling in for an absent minister on an island on the shore. The man he was trying to reach was a musician, an organ player of great talent but also suffering from various disabilities.

      • Kliska

        “A New Song” perhaps… the chapter titles do seem to indicate you may be right, Nancy. 😉

    • Natalie Collins

      Yes, Marilyn, I’m reading that book in the series right now (again for the, well, I don’t actually know how many times! ha!)…”A New Song”…when Father Tim and Cynthia go to Whitecap for an interim position. Hope this helps.

    • Dana Jeffus Coleman

      Marilyn, Father Tim walked around ‘the walls of Jericho’ in A NEW SONG, I just finished it today, and am going to the library this afternoon!! So love the books, and looking forward to the ‘movie?’ and hopefully a tv series like Little House and The Waltons. We need more wholesome entertainment for our generations coming up!!!

    • Meg

      Hi! I just finished that book, Kliska is right, “New Song”…loved it like all the rest! So full of blessings on many levels!

  26. karen schulte

    While recovering from a fall and hip surgery I read all nine of these books. They were so refreshing and gave me hope and comfort while recuperating. Jan Karon is an outstanding author with her vivid descriptions and turning to God for help with problems in life. I was brought to tears many times and mainly they were tears of releaf and happiness. The books also inspired me to live a better life and be thankful for the many blessings that we have. Thank you for this well-written series!

  27. Nancy Wight

    I was amazed at the following of Jan Karon with the Mitford series. I picked up the first novel while visiting my aunt in a nursing home, not Hope House, sorry to say. The read had been uplifting, and did indeed give me a feeling of warmth for the family of these characters. Father Tim’s sermon in, A NEW SONG, I am considering reading to another in the hopes of turning the guarded heart to home. I’m definitely looking forward to the next novel.

  28. Ashley

    Preparing to begin #5 in the Mitford series. Reading these books have inspired me to simplify my life as much as possible..not only for myself but also for my children and husband. Seeing the joy and satisfaction in everyday life is increasingly important to me. This series has brought back childhood memories and the value of community. It has also helped to open my ears, eyes and heart to God.

  29. Some years ago I picked up a Mitford Series book at a used book store and loved it. Over the years, whenever I found another Jan Karon book, I would buy it and read it. I started to become so addicted that one time I even found that I had bought two of the same title. Recently, while at a consignment shop, I found a boxed set of the first 3 Mitford Years books and scooped it up like it was gold. Now I’m reading all nine in the series in order and I found this website while looking for the order in which to read them.
    Father Tim, Cynthia, and all of the other colorful, and unique characters, including the other Mitford, Whitecap, and Ireland residents have all become my best friends. While reading them, I always find myself laughing or crying, but always smiling. Not since the “All Creatures Great and Small” series by James Herriot have I found such feel good books. I decided that this time I’m going to slowly buy my own copies of the Mitford Series and the Father Tim Series and keep them in my bookcase as the best happy pill money can buy. These books fuel my spirit. Thank you Jan Karon and may God bless you with many, many more.
    PS. If you ever get writer’s block, perhaps you could take a small segment from the plot of one of the series and expand on it,,,such as in “The Violet Books” like Father Tim Goes to the Beach or Father Tim’s Seminary Years.
    PPS. Somewhere I remember reading about Morris Love walking around Whitecap fully appreciated and accepted by the residents. I don’t know if that was in “A Common Life” or not. The library didn’t have that book so I had to move on to “In This Mountain”. I was horrified to see that four plus years has gone by and Dooley and Lace are already in college. Yipes! And what happened during Father Tim and Cynthia’s remaining time in Whitecap???

  30. Ricky Ramos

    I wonder if ther ewill be more father Tim novls after “In the COmpany of Others” Does anyone have an idea?

  31. patty gisel

    The Mitford series, by Jan Karon are the books that I am spending the summer with. They are awesome, funny and so refreshing. I have wondered why I haven’t discovered them before now, and then I realized, I think God sends us what we need in the time that we need it. I am finding incidents, and scriptures that are touching where I am in my life now. Mostly I am laughing and totally enjoying this entertainment.

  32. Terri Christl

    I am on my third run through this series. It is certainly a keeper for me. This time I am LISTENING to them as I work in the yard or drive around. It seems that each time I read these stories I get something else from them. My life is not static, so different parts of the story have an impact at different phases of my life. First time I read it I was NOT in my 60’s as Father Tim. I had not been told I was prediabetic either (I am back to normal sugar levels, thankfully). Now I am over 60 and have faced diabetes. Really can relate more. I cannot wait to read the second in the Father Tim series. It is the only noveI I have not read. Great to see the comments on this site. Thanks

  33. I want MORE!!!! Even my husband is loving his reading of the Mitford Books.
    We are now 71 and 77!! These are some of the best books in the whole world! Fannie Flagg is another favorite, but her books have stopped. Jan Karon, we need more books!!

    • Natalie Collins

      Hi Lynda…I agree…sure wish we could get more books from Jan, but she’s probably worn out!! ha!
      I’m actually embarrassed to say how many times I’ve read the whole Mitford and Father Tim series…I’ll never tell!! I’ll just say many, many times. :~)

  34. L Perry

    A new neighbor introduced me to the Mitfors series and I am loving every page. I’m only on book 4 but am getting there. My significant other is also reading and enjoying the series. I like watching him read, grin, and LOL when he doesn’t know I’m watching. During this time of American and world wide turmoil, war, terrorism and political debates, the Mitford books grant serenity over the reader and takes my mind off my own problems, perceived or otherwise.

  35. Sharon

    Emily-you questioned about another series of books with great characters etc. I highly recommend the Little Britches series by Ralph Moody-excellent!! They are true stories based on the author’s life.

  36. Sharon

    I bought a Light from Heaven at a garage sale this past late summer. I was into it thickly before realizing it was a series, so I read the last book first. 🙂 I have started checking them out at the library and have started at the beginning. I have read thru the fifth book. I also am loving these books. I am devouring them. Not only do I get all caught up in their lives, but Father Tim’s Godly words have spoken to my heart over and over again. It will be a sad day when I read the last one. But hey I can start all over again. Aren’t books wonderful!!

  37. Megan

    mitford is in what state in the book??

  38. Sharon

    I loved loved loved all the books….as much as I tried I could not get into In Company of Others.

    • Natalie Collins

      Sharon…same here. “In The Company of Others” left me struggling to get through it. I couldn’t imagine what Jan was thinking when she wrote that book. All the others I’ve read so many times, I’ve about memorized certain parts…I love them all so very much!

      I would LOVE more books (to do with the Mitford crowd) …but perhaps jan was simply out of ideas. I suppose that happens with writers. I’m just thankful she gave us so many wonderful books about Mitford and the lives of the residents that we will always cherish.

  39. megan

    thank-you Natalie Collins for the North Carolina answer Megan

    • Natalie Collins

      Megan…You’re most welcome! Wouldn’t it be great to live in such a place? Not since Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show has America fallen in love with a town such as this!! S-m-i-l-e

  40. Wow – I’m glad there are so many Mitford “nuts” like me. I put the quote from “Home to Holly Springs” of “Pascal’s Wager” on my Facebook page the other day and a girlfriend sent a note asking about the Father Tim Series – she hadn’t seen them yet. I found this site by accident and I will sure tell her about it. So great to talk with so many friends of Fr Tim and Cynthia (and Dooley and Lace and……) I’ll be back. Thanks!

  41. bryan

    All the Mitford books are Excellent – fun, funny, heart warming, great bedtime reading, inspirational… WHY would anyone think they are just for women – anyone can enjoy them.
    As a pastor, I very much identify with the main character…
    My wife bought me the entire set in hardback! 🙂
    WHEN does the 3rd Father Tim novel come out?

  42. I just finished my first read, Home to Holly Springs. I did enjoy it but was surprised by the bad language in a Christian book. I am confused now by her saying she never uses cursing and many.of her readers also saying this. Did she make an exception for this book or what? I’m thinking of checking out the first book from the library.

    • Natalie Collins

      Hi Gail…

      I have the whole set of Mitford books and the three “Father Tim” books that followed. In fact, I just finished reading Home to Holly Springs…yet again! ha!…while I was visiting my daughter and her family during the holidays. I’ve read Home to Holly
      Springs four times (I’m embarrassed to say how many times I’ve read the Mitforford series!!) Please indicate where the cursing is in Home to Holly Springs because I don’t recall it, which seems strange, I know, especially because I don’t curse and would tend to notice that. Could it have been one of the workmen renovating Father Tim’s childhood home? I’ll check those conversations out again. They’re the only ones I can imagine using any curse words. If so, perhaps Jan thought it was part of the “personality” of the character? I have two uncles who curse something awful…and it really “fits” their grumpy, world-wise personalities although I detest cursing.

      Please indicate where the cursing can be found. I’m really curious now because I can’t imagine Jan using cursing in any of her books.

      Thanks so much! (If there are errors in my typing, please excuse them…it’s because my computer is “acting up” again this morning and I cannot see what I have typed…uggggg!!)

      • Natalie

        @ Gail Moseley…Well, it’s been since January 8, 2014, that you wrote your comment, I’m taking it that you perhaps got a Jan Karon book confuse with another book regarding the cursing?? As I said, I’ve read, “Home to Holly Springs” several times and cannot find any cursing. I think it would be nice if you truly DID find cursing, to write back as to what page it is on…and if you were mistaken, if you would please write back and apologize if you accused Ms. Karon of using curse words in her book if she did not. Please let us know, ok? All of Jan’s readers would appreciate it…and I’m very sure Jan certainly would. It’s the very least you can do, don’t you think? Please respond. Thank you.

      • Kliska

        2 curse words, that I know of, make an appearance in Home to Holly Springs; you can go to Amazon and pull up Home to Holly Springs and do a search in the book to find them. One is the name of the mule (he about had his mouth washed for it) and the other I know of (and found) is the name of the fiery pit, not in proper name context. Not a big deal, but still there.

  43. I certainly do hope that the publishers of America and the writers, get a good idea from these books, about the kind of books we read and love and come back to! These are the books we re-read, and quote. These are the stories that move us and which we recommend to other people! How about a series on the settlement of Jewish families in New York or the settlement of the Catholics in New England! Irish and Italian families and their struggles and hopes, similar to the Mitford series? I hope and PRAY that these books are in someone’s computers now! Down to earth, real people, living real lives!

  44. Pingback: A New Mitford Book! | The Christian Scribbler

  45. c_cgee@yahoo.com

    carlotta
    My husband and I have read the Mitford Series out loud to each other in the evening before bed. We absolutely love it. I agree it is so inspiring and real. We have laughed and yes even cried, then reminding ourselves it is just a book. We also agree that we don’t want them to come to an end. We are only starting number 6. We look forward to this reading and hate when we have to miss.

  46. Ashley

    I need some help. I need to know if these books (Mitford Series) are good for a young tween girl. My daughter is an AVID reader and she has read EVERYTHING out there that is age appropriate. It is a huge struggle for me as I can no longer keep ahead of her and I want to make sure what she is reading is clean, wholesome and appropriate. She will be 11 in Sept and my mother (her grandmother) just purchased the whole Mitford Series for her birthday and she will probably blow through them in a matter of 3-4 days. I have not read this series. Grandma claims they are clean, but she tends to forget details and has said that some books are “clean” when I would disagree (sex scenes, drug use, bad language, etc) for a child of her age. She reads so well and so much that it is easy to forget that she is still a young girl with an innocent mind. And it is quite hard to find good reading material. Please help. Your opinions are needed.

    • Kliska

      Honestly, that’s a tough call without knowing her personally. The series is definitely “clean” and highly Christian faith oriented; redemption, forgiveness, healing, love, grace, faith… But it does deal with adult problems and themes at different points; broken families, a rebellious child with some anger issues, and such. No sex scenes, any bad language or drug use is, in the story, corrected and dealt with in a loving and meaningful way. The books are really “light” and full of good characters. However, some of their back stories and “mysteries” are really emotional, and probably better understood by adults. So, yeah, tough call. I’d say they are definitely geared to an older reader though.

      • Natalie

        @ Kliska…I strongly disagree. As I told Ashley, my daughter and I read any books BEFORE we give them to my granddaughter. The Mitford series is wonderful for this age child. I would advise that Ashley read the series herself and she will fall in love with them and won’t be able to wait for her daughter to read them. There’s a HUGE stray dog that seems to LOVE Father Tim…and I won’t tell you the results of that, Ashley, but it is SO entertaining. And yes, there is a neglected boy Father Tim falls in love with, but Father Tim is THE most gentle person and always teaches the boy lessons in very awesome ways. Your daughter, at 11, as with my granddaughter are certainly able to understand this neglected boy and how he must learn new ways of speaking, manners, etc., as he comes to love Father Tim. Our 11-year-old girls will LOVE the series. As I mentioned, the Father Tim series of three books can come later when our girls are about 13. I believe the Mitford series is one of the best ways for girls of 11 – 13 to learn that other children and adults have problems and issues they must deal with…and Father Tim’s way is through prayer and talking it out and…well…becoming a real family with a lot of love for each other. I hope I’m not telling you TOO much. I just don’t want you to think, Ashley, that you should pass over this wonderful series!! Blessings!

      • Kliska

        It’s fine to disagree, I’m sure she appreciates different perspectives. Not all 11 year olds are on the same level as far as what they are exposed to, and I take parental oversight of what is read very seriously. In short, Jan Karon definitely didn’t write this series “for children,” say like Anne of Green Gables. I have no doubt she would enjoy them, but there are things brought up in the stories that adults can appreciate and understand more than children; for example a family being broken up because of various reasons, and siblings being separated from one another and sent off to the four corners of the wind. I wouldn’t hesitate for a a teen reader, even 13, but right now the girl is 10, and every parent is different on what they want their kids thinking about. I don’t know what “age appropriate” means to them, so I say it depends.

    • Natalie

      @ Ashley…How have you been “reviewing” all the books your daughter has read? My daughter and I read all books before they’re given to my 11-year-old granddaughter…that’s really the only way because we have found that even Christian reviewers accept scenarios in books that we find unacceptable for an 11-year-old. Evidently you’ve never read or talked with friends about Jan Karon’s books…you have missed out on a true treasure-trove!! Her series of Mitford books I have read over and over again through the years. There is not ANYTHING in them I would not want my granddaughter to read. They are the most wholesome, wonderful series of books I’ve ever read. I’ll be giving my granddaughter the whole set for her 12th birthday. The three Father Tim books that followed the Mitford series have a bit more in them than I would not want my granddaughter to read until she’s about 13 or so…nothing awful, just too “old” for her regarding medical issues, Father Tim finding a half- brother from his father and a woman who worked as help for his mother, Tim adored this woman as a boy. Those three books get a little more “complicated” for an 11-year old. If you and your mother read the Mitford series before you give them to your daughter, you will both fall in love with the little town of Mitford and all the people who live there! If you buy the whole Mitford series, I doubt very much if your 11-year-old daughter will be able to “blow through them” in 3 – 4 days…even I couldn’t do that. Life happens. Three meals a day. Chores, Homework. Proper sleep, Playing with friends. Encourage your granddaughter to savor good books, not swallow them whole. She will learn to enjoy every sentence, every paragraph if she takes her time. Let her know she has nothing to prove to anyone by hurrying through a wonderful book. Books are made to enjoy, not win a contest in how fast one can read. Hope you ALL enjoy the Mitford Series!!

  47. bob

    Mitford is a fictional town, but very similar to Blowing Rock, nc

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