Book Review: These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon

These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon

Pub. Date: April 1997
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Paperback, 333pp
Series: The Mitford Years #3
Age Range: Adult
ISBN-13: 9780140257939

Synopsis from the book jacket:

In These High, Green Hills we’re once again in Mitford, a southern village of local characters so heartwarming and hilarious you’ll wish you lived right next door.
At last, Mitford’s rector and lifelong bachelor, Father Tim, has married his talented and vivacious neighbor, Cynthia. Now, of course, they must face love’s challenges: new sleeping arrangements for Father Tim’s sofa-sized dog, Cynthia’s urge to decorate the rectory Italian-villa-style, and the growing pains of the thrown-away boy who’s become like a son to the rector.
Add a life-changing camping trip, the arrival of the town’s first policewoman, and a new computer that requires the patience of a saint, and you know you’re in for another engrossing visit to Mitford — the little town that readers everywhere love to call home.

 My Review:

 

Ah, Mitford! You are such a breath of small-town fresh air!  
If you are unfamiliar with the Mitford Years series, you need to start at the beginning, At Home in Mitford.  These books, which follow life in a sleepy North Carolina town, are told from the point of view of Father Tim, the rector of Lord’s Chapel.  Much like an easy chair or an old sweater, this series is a cozy delightYou’ll not find arresting intrigue, high drama, or pulse-quickening action in the pages of a Mitford Years book.  But that’s not to say you won’t find something of value.

What you’ll find in Mitford is a loveable town with endearing characters.  With each installment, you’ll feel like you’re catching up with family and friends.  Jan Karon says she writes “to give readers an extended family, and to applaud the extraordinary beauty of ordinary lives.”  And she’s true to her word.  There may be a bigger dose of minutiae than you’ll encounter in a dramatic novel, but therein lies the charm.  These characters feel like ordinary people–people you’d meet in a real-life small town.  And we watch their lives unfold at a steady pace.  We watch them celebrate, grieve, love, laugh, and grow.  And hopefully we grow a little bit with them as they learn lessons from every day life.
So, if you find you need a break from whatever larger-than-life drama you might be reading and want a quiet escape to clear your mind and take a deep breath before plunging back into murder, mystery, or mayhem — look  no farther than Mitford.

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