A Mitford Christmas Novel
By Jan Karon
(Viking, Hardcover, 9780670031207, 304pp.)
Publication Date: October 20, 2003
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Since he was a boy growing up in Missisippi, 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 teach an old dog new tricks!” he reminds himself. It’s when he imagines the excitement in Cynthia’s eyes that he steps up to the plate—and begins a small journey of faith that touches everyone around him.The eighth novel in the bestselling Mitford Years series is a meditation on the best of all presents—the gift of one’s heart. Lovingly written and beautifully illustrated, it seeks to restore the true Christmas spirit and give everyone a seat at Mitford’s holiday table.
Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.
Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."
Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."
Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."