Out to Canaan (The Mitford Years, Book 4)

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9781574902570: Out to Canaan (The Mitford Years, Book 4)

In the small town of Mitford, rector Father Tim and his lovely wife Cynthia ponder their retirement plans, trying to raise their young charge, Dooley, and find Dooley's missing, abandoned siblings, while a brash mayoral candidate is calling for development and ""progress."" 100,000 first printing. $150,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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Review:

Mix one part All Creatures Great and Small with two parts Lake Wobegon, sprinkle a little Anne of Green Gables and get: Mitford, the pinnacle of provincial life, where homespun wisdom, guarded tradition, and principled faith are the precepts of good living. Jan Karon, purveyor of so-called "gentle fiction," continues the series that began with At Home in Mitford, in Out to Canaan. The patriarch of the tightly bound community of Mitford, North Carolina, is Father Timothy Kavanaugh, a.k.a. legal counsel, psychologist, foster parent, headhunter, husband, political analyst, and rector of his congregation. He is always there to lend a helping hand, a kind word or bit of advice, which believe it or not, makes for an incredibly busy schedule in this quiet, country town.

Longtime mayor Esther Cunningham, revered for preserving the traditions of the town, finds a formidable foe in Mack Stroupe, a free-spending industrialist who stands for the two most reviled words in Mitford: change and development. If that isn't enough, a suspicious company called "Miami Development" wants to buy Sadie Baxter's home--a Mitford landmark--and turn it into a hoity-toity spa. Father Tim has his hands full again with Dooley, his foster child who is back from prep school for the summer. The good rector continues to doctor Dooley's troubled past by locating his siblings, Poohbaw and Jessie, and finding their alcoholic mother, Pauline, work. The plethora of intricately woven, cozy vignettes makes Out to Canaan a potpie of warm, country reading. --Rebekah Warren

About the Author:

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."

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